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the summer day

"Who made the world?

Who made the swan,

and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean -

the one who has flung herself

out of the grass,

the one who is eating sugar out

of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and

forth instead of up and down -

who is gazing around with her

enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and

thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open,

and floats away.

I don't know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention,

how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down

in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how

to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"


- Mary Oliver, The Summer Day




better larger, on black

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Taken on May 20, 2007