Good morning from Mary Oliver, by Tina Simson


Isn’t it plain the sheets of moss, except that
they have no tongues, could lecture
all day long if they wanted about

spiritual patience? Isn’t it clear
the black oaks along the path are standing
as though they were the most fragile of flowers?

Every morning, I walk like this around
the pond, thinking: if the doors of my heart
ever close, I’m as good as dead.

Every morning, so far, I’m alive. And now
the crows break off from the rest of the darkness
and burst up into the sky-as though

all night they had thought of what they would like
their lives to be
and imagined
their strong, thick wings

My husband says he hates the crows; their cacophony often wakes us this time of year. And Marty, my dog, certainly doesn’t like them. Once they start squawking he can’t get out of the house fast enough to chase them back into the trees, after which he pees for good measure.

Until recently I went along with that; they are nasty birds, raiding nests and eating road kill. But then they seem to know who they are and without an ounce of hesitance, they claim their world. No apologies, just strong presence, I’ve come to appreciate that.

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