Heavy – by Mary Oliver

Heavy
by
Mary Oliver
That time
I thought I could not
go any closer to grief
without dying.
I went closer,
and I did not die.
Surley God
had His hand in this,
as well as friends.
Still I was bent,
and my laughter,
as the poet said,
was nowhere to be found.
Then said my friend Daniel
(brave even among lions),
“It is not the weight you carry
but how you carry it—
books, bricks, grief—
it’s all in the way
you embrace it, balance it, carry it
When you cannot, and would not,
put it down.”
So I went practicing.
Have you noticed?
Have you heard
the laughter
that comes, now and again,
out of my startled mouth?
How I linger
to admire, admire
the things of this world
that are kind and maybe
also troubled—
roses in the wind,
The sea geese on the steep waves,
a love
to which there is no reply?
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