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"Oh, to love what is lovely, and will not last!..." | by Sparky2*
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"Oh, to love what is lovely, and will not last!..."

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Snow Geese


Oh, to love what is lovely, and will not last!

What a task

to ask

of anything, or anyone,

yet it is ours,

and not by the century or the year, but by the hours.

One fall day I heard

above me, and above the sting of the wind, a sound

I did not know, and my look shot upward; it was

a flock of snow geese, winging it

faster than the ones we usually see,

and, being the color of snow, catching the sun

so they were, in part at least, golden. I

held my breath

as we do


to stop time

when something wonderful

has touched us

as with a match,

which is lit, and bright,

but does not hurt

in the common way,

but delightfully,

as if delight

were the most serious thing

you ever felt.

The geese

flew on,

I have never seen them again.

Maybe I will, someday, somewhere.

Maybe I won't.

It doesn't matter.

What matters

is that, when I saw them,

I saw them

as through the veil, secretly, joyfully, clearly.


Mary Oliver

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Taken on January 29, 2006