painted and glittered

Standard
Work in Progress 2016 by Drea

Work in Progress 2016 by Drea

Crossing the Swamp
by Mary Oliver

Here is the endless
wet thick
cosmos, the center
of everything—the nugget
of dense sap, branching
vines, the dark burred
faintly belching
bogs. Here
is swamp, here
is struggle,
closure—
pathless, seamless,
peerless mud. My bones
knock together at the pale
joints, trying
for foothold, fingerhold,
mindhold over
such slick crossings, deep
hipholes, hummocks
that sink silently
into the black, slack
earthsoup. I feel
not wet so much as
painted and glittered
with the fat grassy
mires, the rich
and succulent marrows
of earth— a poor
dry stick given
one more chance by the whims
of swamp water— a bough
that still, after all these years,
could take root,
sprout, branch out, bud—
make of its life a breathing
palace of leaves.

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