Mary Oliver and "Aunt Leaf"


The poetry of Mary Oliver is always a good way to start the day:

Aunt Leaf
Needing one, I invented her-
the great-great-great-aunt dark as hickory
called Shining-Leaf, or Drifting-Cloud
or The-Beauty-of-the-Night.

Dear aunt, I’d call into the leaves,
and she’d rise up, like an old log in a pool,
and whisper in a language only the two of us knew
the word that meant follow.

and we’d travel
cheerful as birds
out of the dusty town and into the trees
where she wold chanae us both into something quicker-
two foxes with black feet,
two snakes green as ribbons,
two shimmering fish-
and all day we’d travel.

At day’s end she’d leave me back at my own door
with the rest of my family,
who were kind, but solid as wood
and rarely wandered. While she,
old twist of feathers and birch bark
would walk in circles wide as rain and then
float back

scattering the rags of twilight
on fluttering moth wings;

or shed slouch from the barn like a gray opossum;
or she’d hang in the milky moonlight
burning like a medallion,

this bone dream,
this friend I had to have,
this old woman made out of leaves.

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This entry was posted in Aunt Leaf, Mary Oliver, poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Mary Oliver and "Aunt Leaf"

  1. I hadn’t read that piece of poetry before. It conjures up beautiful thoughts. Thank you.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Just gorgeous!K

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