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When Death Comes

When death comes

like the hungry bear in autumn

when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

 

to buy me, and snaps his purse shut;

when death comes

like the measle-pox;

 

when death comes

like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

 

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering;

what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

 

And therefore I look upon everything

as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,

and I look upon time as no more than an idea,

and I consider eternity as another possibility,

 

and I think of each life as a flower, as common

as a field daisy, and as singular,

 

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth

tending as all music does, toward silence,

 

and each body a lion of courage, and something

precious to the earth.

 

When it's over, I want to say: all my life

I was a bride married to amazement.

I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

 

When it's over, I don't want to wonder

if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened

or full of argument.

 

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

 

~ Mary Oliver ~

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Taken on October 29, 2008