Nothing Playing

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Freshen the Flowers, She Said

by Mary Oliver

So I put them in the sink, for the cool porcelain
was tender,
and took out the tattered and cut each stem
on a slant,
trimmed the black and raggy leaves, and set them all –
roses, delphiniums, daisies, iris, lilies,
and more whose names I don’t know, in bright new water –
gave them

a bounce upward at the end to let them take
their own choice of position, the wheels, the spurs,
the little sheds of the buds. It took, to do this,
perhaps fifteen minutes.
Fifteen minutes of music
with nothing playing.

 

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