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Affirmative Prayer

When Death Comes

Jodi Hersh

March 30, 2020

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When Death Comes

 
 
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Mary Oliver
When Death Comes

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When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world

2 Comments

  1. Avatar Robin on March 30, 2020 at 9:05 am

    Sweet and moving. Love your calm.

  2. Avatar Captain Zorah Rose on March 30, 2020 at 10:13 am

    Fair Winds and Following Seas to you dad’s continued journey. From the shore I pray for your wellness in difficult times. I am grateful for your dad and he gave us you to remind us depth is always possible. Much love to you Jane.

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