Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day


~ by Mary Oliver

That time
I thought I could not
go any closer to grief
without dying

I went closer,
and I did not die.
Surely God
had His hand in this,

as well as friends.
Still, I was bent,
and my laughter,
as the poet said,

was nowhere to be found.
Then said my friend Daniel
(brave even among the lions),
"It's not the weight you carry

but how you carry it --
books, bricks, grief --
it's all in the way
you embrace it, balance it, carry it

when you cannot, and would not,
put it down."
So I went practicing.
Have you noticed?

Have you heard
the laughter
that comes, now and again,
out of my startled mouth?

How I linger
to admire, admire, admire
the things of this world
that are kind, and maybe

also troubled --
roses in the wind,
the sea geese on the steep waves,
a love to which there is no reply?

(Imagde here: Geese over Galway Bay by Monasette.)


  1. she wrote my heart. thank you for that. hugs to you dear beautiful friend. I am thinking of you and praying for you and our little community of sad, longing, aching broken-hearted mamas.

  2. Mary Oliver has such a beautiful, gentle way with words.

    Much like you.

    Thinking of you with love this weekend.

  3. I'm holding you with tenderness. Thinking of you, and others, here.

  4. Mary Oliver's poem spoke to the deep feelings in my heart. Thank you for posting it.

  5. Ahhh, Robin. Mary Oliver, how can she know how to say this so perfectly? Thank you for posting this. Much love, and many blessings.
    Mary Ellen

  6. thanks for sharing this Robin on the day before my least favorite day of the year. Still grieving the loss of my sons, 14 and 12 years ago. I need to find a book of Mary Oliver's poetry. I hope we can see one another again soon. Praying for you as well in your grief.

  7. Mary Oliver says it so perfectly, doesn't she?

  8. Thank you, as always, for sharing your insights. XOXO

  9. I opened Mary Oliver's Thirst tonight to look for a poem for a column I was writing. I didn't find the poem I was looking for, but I had a bookmark in this poem -- I resonate to that first stanza.