Wednesday, December 14, 2011

more Mary Oliver...another favorite.

I Found a Dead Fox

I found a dead fox
beside the gravel road,
curled inside the big
iron wheel

of an old tractor
that has been standing,
for years,
in the vines at the edge

of the road.
I don't know
what happened to it --
when it came there

or why it lay down
for good, settling
its narrow chin
on the rusted rim

of the iron wheel
to look out
over the fields,
and that way died --

but I know
this: its posture --
of looking,
to the last possible moment,

back into the world --
made me want
to sing something
joyous and tender

about foxes.
But what happened is this --
when I began,
when I crawled in

through the honeysuckle
and lay down,
curling my long spine
inside that cold wheel,

and touched the dead fox,
and looked out
into the wide fields,
the fox

There was only myself
and the world,
and it was I

who was leaving.
And what could I sing
Oh, beautiful world!

I just lay there
and looked at it.
And then it grew dark.
That day was done with.

And then the stars stepped forth
and held up their appointed fires --
those hot, hard
watchmen of the night.

-Mary Oliver

                                                                         ...the 4th and 5th stanzas make me cry.


Michelle said...

What a lovely poem. I'm sitting at my desk, at work, weeping - in a good way.

You Can Call Me Jane said...

Lovely, in a difficult way.