I rose this morning early as usual, and went to my desk. / But it’s spring, / and the thrush is in the woods, / somewhere in the twirled branches, and he is singing. / And so, now, I am standing by the open door. / And now I am stepping down onto the grass. / I am touching a few leaves. / I am noticing the way the yellow butterflies / move together, in a twinkling cloud, over the field. / And I am thinking: maybe just looking and listening / is the real work. / Maybe the world, without us, / is the real poem.
I learned of Mary’s death on the beach, in the company of seasong & sunstuff, & I can’t help but think it the perfect final memory of her. I can’t help but think maybe her presence was here, in the wind, the cloud-twirled mountains. The breath, the prayer of light. Softest fog that rolled in & stayed for days & days, peace in the wild goose-wings glowing & beating far into the horizon. This is how I want to remember her, this poet who raised me as an artist, who taught me the meaning of tenderness when all I knew was bitter-sharp fear. This is how I want to leave her behind: as the truest poem, inside every bit of wonder with which she saw this world.
Rest in peace, Mary Oliver. You were golden.