Death of a Poet ~ Mary Oliver

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Death of a Poet ~ Mary Oliver

And a reckoning for all of us.

Mary Oliver died.
And while I had heard of her,
And her work,
At the time,
I hadn’t bothered quite yet
To read much of her.

Being a woman poet
Who hadn’t killed herself,
Thus lacking the drama
Adequate to grab my attention.

No Sylvia Plath.
No Anne Sexton.
Not even a bit of Virginia Wolf.

I hadn’t paid much notice.

But when I downloaded
Samples of her books of poems,
And I began to read her
I realized
That her death matters greatly.

I’m in a space of late
Where the death
Of most everyone matters
Greatly to me,
After all,
My own mortality
Is staring back at me,
With every mirror I pass.

But Mary Oliver
Being a true master of our craft,
Reminds me of other poets' deaths:
Like James Wright’s
And Robert Sund’s
And Blake’s
And Frost’s
And Buk’s, of course,
(he was 74 when he died,
the age I’ll leave behind
in less than a month).

One day
My death might matter
To others the way
These deaths matter to me,
As I join this sister,
And these brothers,
In words and images
And love for our craft/lives.

After all,
The wind never really stops blowing
Whether we feel it,
And know it,
Or not.

So, goodbye Mary Oliver,
Nice to finally meet you.
And sad to say goodbye
So soon.

Just Weighing Separator

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