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"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?

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