save the soul

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Paintings by Drea

Paintings by Drea

The Lark
by Mary Oliver

And I have seen,
at dawn,
the lark
spin out of the long grass
and into the pink air –
its wings,
which are neither wide
nor overstrong,
fluttering –
the pectorals
ploughing and flashing
for nothing but altitude –
and the song
bursting
all the while
from the red throat.
And then he descends,
and is sorry.
His little head hangs
and he pants for breath
for a few moments
among the hoops of the grass,
which are crisp and dry,
where most of his living is done –
and then something summons him again
and up he goes,
his shoulders working,
his whole body almost collapsing and floating
to the edges of the world.
We are reconciled, I think,
to too much.
Better to be a bird, like this one –
an ornament of the eternal.
As he came down once, to the nest of the grass,
“Squander the day, but save the soul,”
I heard him say.

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