When Death Comes

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.

~~ Mary Oliver ~~
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10 responses to “When Death Comes

  1. Pingback: Words, Just Words | A Simple, Village Undertaker

  2. I have read this before but this time it brought tears to my eyes. “I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement.” Dear Carol, I believe we can know a person through the choice of writings and words they put out. I believe I can catch a glimpse of your heart through these stirring poems you have shared. Thank you! Sharon

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