Borrowing From a Great Poet

Today it is snowy and cold and as happenstance would have it (or google connecting the dots) one of Mary Oliver’s poems popped into my feed about the snow. As I read it, I was struck by how much it felt like a poem of grief if only a few lines were changed.

So, here is my edit.

The grief - like snow
began slowly.
a soft and easy sprinkling

of flakes, then clouds of flakes
in the baskets of the wind
and the branches
of the trees ---

oh, so individual and unique.
We walked
through the growing stillness,
as the flakes

prickled the path,
then covered it, 
then deepened
as in curds and drifts,

as the wind grew stronger,
shaping its work
less delicately,
taking greater steps,

over the hills 
and through the trees
until finally,
we were cold,

and far from home.
We turned
and followed our long shadows back
to the house,

stamped our feet,
went inside, and shut the door.
Through the window
we could see

how far away it was to the gates of 
Let the fire now
put on its red hat
and sing to us.

BY Mary Oliver - slight changes by SJF

I will admit that in the winter of my grief I freely took to warmer climates of friends and family, often traveling like a snowbird to the refuges where my soul was out of the harsh climate that felt like the long winter that never ends.

I’d say my “April” came much later, but like spring, my heart did feel the warmth of a changing season. I’ll try to recount that particular transformative day in another post.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. I am grateful for all I have and continue to experience.

Love to all.


4 thoughts on “Borrowing From a Great Poet

  1. Please bundle up on the extra cold days–when they come–wrapping yourself in the warmth of love past and present.

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