I Looked Up

June 22, 1994|By Mary Oliver

I looked up and there it was

among the green branches of the pitchpines --

thick bird,

a ruffle of fire trailing over the shoulders and down the back --

color of copper, iron, bronze --

lighting up the dark branches of the pine.

What misery to be afraid of death.

What wretchedness, to believe only in what can be proven.

When I made a little sound

it looked at me, then it looked past me.

Then it rose, the wings enormous and opulent,

and, as I said, wreathed in fire.

Mary Oliver is author of the forthcoming "White Pine."

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