Friday, September 5, 2008

Living with eyes open

How about a Mary Oliver poem to wind up the week?

In the Storm

by Mary Oliver


Some black ducks

were shrugged up

on the shore.

It was snowing


hard, from the east,

and the sea

was in disorder.

Then some sanderlings,


five inches long

with beaks like wire,

flew in,

snowflakes on their backs,


and settled

in a row

behind the ducks --

whose backs were also


covered with snow --

so close

they were all but touching,

they were all but under


the roof of the duck's tails,

so the wind, pretty much,

blew over them.

They stayed that way, motionless,


for maybe an hour,

then the sanderlings,

each a handful of feathers,

shifted, and were blown away


out over the water

which was still raging.

But, somehow,

they came back


and again the ducks,

like a feathered hedge,

let them

crouch there, and live.


If someone you didn't know

told you this,

as I am telling you this,

would you believe it?


Belief isn't always easy.

But this much I have learned --

if not enough else --

to live with my eyes open.


I know what everyone wants

is a miracle.

This wasn't a miracle.

Unless, of course, kindness --


as now and again

some rare person has suggested --

is a miracle.

As surely it is.

1 comment:

Leslie M. said...

Thank you, Jim. A lovely offering for the morning, especially on the eve of the big winds that are headed our way.