by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

WindSylph WindSylph
46-50, F
2 Responses Aug 29, 2014

Love this
So true :)

What a lovely poem. Want to know what I loved best of all? The birdie chirping while you were filming made me put on a happy face. ;-)

I love the songbirds! Some countries don't have songbirds. I don't think I could live without songbirds! Know what I liked best about your comment? Thinking of you smiling :)))))))

Poor song less countries. Like you, I couldn't live without songbirds. I'm listening to "mine" fight now. Nope, MUST have songbirds!