The Journey

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.

by Mary Oliver

Other poems of OLIVER (91)

Comments (6)

and all this time, i thought botany was boring. shows how much i know. you've done it again, Shep! Jake
Full marks, Sandra! This is a test piece for real poets who love words like elves love pass with flying colours. Creeping cinquefoil is yellow and marsh cinquefoil is purple. Well spotted. A kennel of dog roses to you.
Twice with cinquefoil? ? Nicely strung together, great topic.
A whole meadow and glade to wander through with a smile: -)
Didn't want to make it personal, Pete.
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