Wild Geese By Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world ...
The Old Grey Mare*
She was resourceful, my mother,
she'd been an old grey mare* after all
during the second world war.
'You'd need a face like horse '
she used to say,
'not to find someone.'
After the war, when the magpies dived
during the Spring, she found