Morning Thanks

Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Morning Thanks--Sunday Morning Glory

Peonies

Mary Oliver
This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
   to break my heart
     as the sun rises,
        as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers

and they open--
   pools of lace,
      white and pink--
       and all day the black ants climb over them,

boring their deep and mysterious holes
    into the curls,
      craving the sweet sap,
        taking it away

to their dark, underground cities--
   and all day
      under the shifty wind,
       as in a dance to the great wedding,

the flowers bend their bright bodies,
   and tip their fragrance to the air,
     and rise,
       their red stems holding

all that dampness and recklessness
    gladly and lightly,
      and there it is again--
        beauty the brave, the exemplary,

blazing open.
    Do you love this world?
      Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
       Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?

Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
   and softly,
      and exclaiming of their dearness,
       fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,

with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
    their eagerness
      to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
        nothing, forever?
____________________________ 
I was half-dressed and barefoot, but there is no garden here.  And I did pick some, white and pink, but I didn't "fill my arms" nor  did I "exclaim their dearness." I just brought them into the house, ants and all.  
And there were mosquitoes galore--Ms. Oliver didn't mention them amid her reverie.  But those peonies "breaking my heart" is dead on, and being "wild and perfect for a moment"--good night, is that true.  Glorious as anything in creation, but oh, so quickly, and sadly, gone.
But still, they're certainly the stuff of morning thanks.


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