Have I not been ready…

Today is a day for a poem. You know that kind of day…when morning comes while you’re standing stocking-footed in the garden and eating greek yogurt with toasted almonds and a sprinkle of nutmeg and realizing that the rosebushes in your backyard are covered with new buds (again).  And you can’t help but think that sometimes such beauty hurts just as much as it heals…

From Mary Oliver’s “Am I Not Among the Early Risers”

Here is an amazement–once I was twenty years old and in
every motion of my body there was a delicious ease,
and in every motion of the green earth there was
a hint of paradise,
and now I am [forty] years old, and it is the same.[..]

I bow down.

Have I not loved as though the beloved could vanish any moment,
or become preoccupied, or whisper a name other than mine
in the stretched curvatures of lust, or over the dinner table
Have I ever taken good fortune for granted?

Have I not, every spring, befriended the swarm that pours forth?
Have I not summoned the honey-man to come, to hurry,
to bring with him the white and comfortable hive?

And, while I waited, have I not leaned close, to see everything?
Have I not been stung as I watched their milling and gleaming,
and stung hard?

Have I not been ready at the iron door,
not knowing to what country it opens–to death or to more life?

Have I ever said that that the day was too hot or too cold
or the night too long and as black as oil anyway,
or the morning, washed blue and emptied entirely
of the second-rate, less than happiness

as I stepped down from the porch and set out along
the green paths of the world?

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