Diaries Magazine

Her Name is Mary Oliver

By Owlandtwine
Her Name is Mary Oliver
I was snuggling Theo in his bed last night. Pure treasure time. Time when we can talk about anything; time when we talk about everything.
He told me more about solar powered panels for speakers (mostly all he talks about these days), we chatted about his room makeover and the possibility of a new comforter (NBA inspired) and a new reading chair. And then he paused and asked me if I would get the pillow potion - a new aromatherapy blend we started using this week to help him fall asleep (he has a hard time falling asleep).
I left and returned with a soft cloth dotted with the essential oil blend and draped it over his headboard, and snuggled back in next to him. Lying on his side with his head propped up in the triangle shape of his arm and hand, he began a conversation that is still with me this morning. A conversation that seeped into every bit and piece of me.
We started studying similes, he said. You know what similes are, right, Mom? And we started writing poetry. I started working on a poem about a doughnut today. I know you like to read poetry. I was thinking about you.
I know you like to read poetry. I was thinking about you. Every bit and piece of me.
We talked about poetry some more and he shared a funny story about his teacher from earlier in the day. The aromatherapy beginning to work its magic - on both of us.
Alright, I said, it's time to go to sleep. But first, would you like me to read a poem to you? Sure, he said.
I drifted down the hallway and plucked the book from the shelf, no hesitation. I returned and snuggled him again, adjusted his little reading light my way.
This poem is beautifully well used. I can almost recite it by heart.
Every bit and piece of me.
I began:
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

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