root of the heart


Drea Art


By Mary Oliver

When the owl

on her plush and soundless wings


from the black waves

of the oak leaves,

or floats

out of the needles

of the pines

that are moaning,

that are tossing,

I think:

o she is beautiful

with her eyes

like burning moons,

with her feet

like twisted braids

of old gold

flexing and curling –

and I am glad to see her –

some wild loyalty has me

to the root of the heart –

even when she ruffles down

into the field

and jabs like a mad thing

and it’s hopeless,

it’s also wonderful,

so I thank

whatever made her –

this beast of a bird

with her thick breast

and her shimmering wings –

whose nest, in the dark trees,

is trimmed with screams and bones –

whose beak

is the most terrible cup I will ever enter.

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