Little Summer Poem Touching the Subject of Faith
by Mary Oliver
I listen and look
under the sun’s brass and even
in the moonlight, but I can’t hear
anything, I can’t see anything—
not the pale roots digging down, nor the green stalks muscling up,
nor the leaves
deepening their damp pleats,
nor the tassels making,
nor the shucks, nor the cobs.
the leafy fields
grow taller and thicker—
green gowns lifting up in the night,
showered with silk.
And so, every summer,
I fail as a witness, seeing nothing—
I am deaf too
to the tick of the leaves,
the tapping of downwardness from the banyan feet—
all of it
beyond all seeable proof, or hearable hum.
And, therefore, let the immeasurable come.
Let the unknowable touch the buckle of my spine.
Let the wind turn in the trees,
and the mystery hidden in dirt
swing through the air.
How could I look at anything in this world
and tremble, and grip my hands over my heart?
What should I fear?
in the leafy green ocean
the honeycomb of the corn’s beautiful body
is sure to be there.