Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Motherless Child

Two of my friends have lost their mothers this week.

Both were expected; but you cannot anticipate what it is to be bereft of the one who knew you like no one else knew you.

And so I leave them - and we who mourn alongside them - these words by Mary Oliver:

The Swan

Did you too see it, drifting, all night, on the black river?
Did you see it in the morning, rising into the silvery air -
An armful of white blossoms,
A perfect commotion of silk and linen as it leaned
into the bondage of its wings; a snowbank, a bank of lilies,
Biting the air with its black beak?
Did you hear it, fluting and whistling
A shrill dark music - like the rain pelting the trees - like a waterfall
Knifing down the black ledges?

And did you see it, finally, just under the clouds -
A white cross Streaming across the sky, its feet
Like black leaves, its wings Like the stretching light of the river?
And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?
And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?
And have you changed your life?

The Uses of Sorrow

(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.



  1. Beautiful. And loved [Oliver's] 'uses of sorrow'. I, too, understand [somewhat] the value of embracing the darkness.

  2. in your previous post, a little bird ventured out of its nest while the mama watched nearby . . . in this post, two mamas have ventured out from their nests while the little ones stand nearby. . .

    one might be out of sight, but is never too far away not to be nearby

    our hearts go out to each one,
    with love. . .

    love to all who try
    love to all who fly
    love to all who stand by
    and love to all who cry.

  3. Thank you Karyn.
    My thoughts were not as poetic as Mary's, but that last night as I sat by her bed, I thought how thankful that I didn't have the choice in taking this road. I never would have chosen it - but I would have missed out on a blessing.


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