Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday at the Feeder


The Beautiful, Stripped Sparrow

by Mary Oliver

in the afternoons,

in the almost empty fields,

i hum the hymns

i used to sing

in church.

they could not tame me,

so they would not keep me,

and how that feels,
the weight of it,

i will not tell

any of you,

not ever.

still, as they promised,

God, once he is in your heart,

is everywhere -

so even here

among the weeds

and the brisk trees.
how long does it take

to hum a hymn? strolling

one or two acres

of the sweetness

of the world,

not counting

a lapse, now and again,

of sheer emptiness.

once a deer

stood quietly at my side.

and sometimes the wind

has touched my cheek

like a spirit.

am i lonely?

the beautiful, striped sparrow,

serenely, on the tallest weed in his kingdom,

also sings without words.

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