"Mary Oliver in the time of Quarantine" -- April 24, National Poetry Month
Mary Oliver in the time of Quarantine
She would be in her garden.
fertile soil under her nails, sweat
beads dripping from that earnest white
crown, hard won from a lifetime
of being aware of her body,
of wild things,
of tulips, poodles, breath.
She would be entertaining.
When Molly died, she had a choice.
little cabin in the woods filled with books
until the end,
or unlock all the doors,
throw open the windows,
let daylight and springtime
and new friends and old ones
come in, have tea.
She would be writing
that earth was healing
itself right now,
she would be forming lines
with blessed verbs, comfortable nouns,
unapologetic lines of serenity,
she would write that Mother Earth
was reminding us, her children,
what she was meant to look like.
She would be celebrating
her own healing, how late in life
it came, it still came,
like the flowers come
at their own time of choosing,
like we may say we see the storm coming,
but it arrives when the wind and rain decide that it is time.
She would be teaching.
She is teaching. She teaches with each page,
each phrase, each perfectly placed
Just as sure as her wild geese
are still teaching
all of us what we can do and what we never have to do
if we don’t want to do it.
Mary and her geese will be teaching long after all of the doors
of the ravaged world have been unlocked.
The journey will always be ongoing,
because she is still taking us along
with her, slowing us down,
slowing down time.
Asking us to take a deep breath. Look around.
She would be my comfort
in the time of quarantine. She is.
She would be my friend. She is.
-- please learn more about the incredible Mary Oliver at