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Poem written with the same structure as White Geese by Mary Oliver, as an exercise in poetry and style.

You do not have to understand.

You do not have to see it is wisdom that is handed to you


your mother is lost, moving closer to

her own center instead of seeing

that you need her.


you come out of the hospital in a braced body,


the man you love tells you that you are

too young and you should just live your life.

You do not have to know it is wisdom.

She takes so many different

shapes. You could not recognize her:

a dead father, a needle, a walk in the Golden Gate Park,

a book in a foreign language, too many parties,

a narcissistic teacher.

You only have to keep living, remember what happened,

and let your experience stay inside

of you, safe and warm.

Tell me about grief, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile, you weep, and you smile.

Meanwhile, the snakes wake up in the Spring and lay

their soft bodies on the stonewall, facing South.

Meanwhile, children are born, illuminating the darkness

of the sky and giggling at the dining table while

the white dog sleeps on the doorstep.

Meanwhile, the old Titan holds the skies,

so the dance of the stars is not interrupted.

Some things are more important than we will ever know.

Wisdom is handed to you in disguise when you don't expect her.

Sometimes she comes silently. Sometimes she approaches

with such a ruckus that you can not believe it's her.

Whoever you are, no matter how blind or insightful,

you will miss her entry most of the time.

It does not matter

if you are still drinking after fifteen surgeries or

leaving your country for the man you love.

It does not matter

if you are writing poetry about the geese that fly above your head,

a few minutes after a phone call from your oncologist,

or if you just turned thirteen and have

dreams too big for this world.

Wisdom is what works, said Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

Wisdom is what works.

Listen to Mary Oliver reading Wild Geese:



May 17, 2021

I love this and you


May 14, 2021

I adore you, friend. This is just wonderful.

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