American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Faith · Inspirational · Motivational · Nature · Poetry · Spiritual

Mary Oliver

When Death Comes

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
 
to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox
 
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
 
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
 
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
 
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
 
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,
 
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
 
When it’s over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
 
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
 
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
 
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world
    
 Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems. (Beacon Press; 1st edition July 1, 1993)

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