little wild thing

Paintings by Drea

Paintings by Drea

Percy Six
By Mary Oliver

You’re like a little wild thing
That was never sent to school.
Sit, I say, and you jump up.
Come, I say, and you go galloping down the sand
To the nearest dead fish
With which you perfume your sweet neck.
It is summer.
How many summers does a little dog have?

Run, run Percy.
This is our school.

Percy Seven
By Mary Oliver

And now Percy is getting brazen.
Let’s down the beach, baby, he says.
Let’s shake it with a little barking.
Let’s find dead things, and explore them,
By mouth, if possible.

Or maybe the leavings of Paul’s horse (after which
Forgive me for mentioning it, he is fond of kissing)

Ah, this is the thing that comes to each of us.
The child grows up.
And, according to our own ideas, is practically asunder.

I understand it.
I struggle to celebrate.
I say, with a stiff upper lip familiar to many:

Just look at that curlyhaired child now, he’s his own man.

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