entrance to a cave

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Drea Art
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October
By Mary Oliver

There’s this shape, black as the entrance to a cave.
A longing wells up in its throat
like a blossom
as it breathes slowly.

What does the world
mean to you if you can’t trust it
to go on shining when you’re
not there? and there’s
a tree, long-fallen; once
the bees flew to it, like a procession
of messengers, and filled it
with honey.

I said to the chickadee, singing his heart out in the
green pine tree:
little dazzler
little song,
little mouthful.

The shape climbs up out of the curled grass. It
grunts into view. There is no measure
for the confidence at the bottom of its eyes-
there is no telling
the suppleness of its shoulders as it turns
and yawns.
Near the fallen tree
something- a leaf snapped loose
from the branch and fluttering down- tries to pull me
into its trap of attention.
It pulls me
into its trap of attention,
And when I turn again, the bear is gone.

Look, hasn’t my body already felt
like the body of a flower?
Look, I want to love this world
as though it’s the last chance I’m ever going to get
to be alive
and know it.

Sometimes in late summer I won’t touch anything, not
the flowers, not the blackberries
brimming in the thickets; I won’t drink
from the pond; I won’t name the birds or the trees;
I won’t whisper my own name.

One morning
the fox came down the hill, glittering and confident,
and didn’t see me- and I thought:
so this is the world.
I’m not in it.
It is beautiful.

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