"Poppies", by Mary Oliver
Updated: Dec 6, 2020
The poppies send up their orange flares; swaying in the wind, their congregations are a levitation
of bright dust, of thin and lacy leaves. There isn’t a place in this world that doesn’t
sooner or later drown in the indigos of darkness, but now, for a while, the roughage
shines like a miracle as it floats above everything with its yellow hair. Of course nothing stops the cold,
black, curved blade from hooking forward— of course loss is the great lesson.
But I also say this: that light is an invitation to happiness,
and that happiness,
. . .
when it’s done right, is a kind of holiness, palpable and redemptive. Inside the bright fields,
touched by their rough and spongy gold, I am washed and washed in the river of earthly delight—
and what are you going to do— what can you do about it— deep, blue night?