White Flowers

September 29, 2009

Last night

in the fields

I lay down in the darkness

to think about death,

but instead I fell asleep

as if in a vase and sloping room

filled with those white flowers

that open all summer,

sticky and untidy

in the warm fields.

When I woke

The morning light was just slipping

in front of the stars,

and I was covered

with blossoms.

I don’t know

how it happened –

I don’t know

if my body went diving down

under the sugary vines

in some sleep-sharpened affinity

with the depths, or whether

that green energy

rose like a wave

and curled over me, claiming me

in its husky arms.

I pushed them away, but I didn’t rise.

Never in my life had I felt so plush,

or so slippery,

or so resplendently empty.

Never in my life

had I felt myself so near

that porous line

where my own body was done with

and the roots and the stems and the flowers

began.

by Mary Oliver

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