by Mary Oliver
Wage peace with your breath.
Breathe in firemen and rubble,
breathe out whole buildings
and flocks of redwing blackbirds.
Breathe in terrorists
and breathe out sleeping children
and freshly mown fields.
Breathe in confusion and breathe out maple trees.
Breathe in the fallen
and breathe out lifelong friendships intact.
Wage peace with your listening:
hearing sirens, pray loud.
Remember your tools:
flower seeds, clothes pins, clean rivers.
learn the word for thank you in three languages.
Learn to knit,
and make a hat.
Think of chaos as dancing raspberries,
imagine grief as the outbreath of beauty
or the gesture of fish.
Swim for the other side.
Never has the world seemed so fresh and precious.
Have a cup of tea and rejoice.
Act as if the armistice has already arrived.
Don’t wait another minute.