So long as I am hanging on
I want to be young and noble.
I want to be bold.
So said the great buck, named Swirlet,
As he stepped like a king past me
The week before he was arrow-killed.
And so said the wren in the bush
After another hard year
Of love, of nest-life, of singing.
And so say I
Every morning, just before sunrise,
Wading the edge of the dark ocean.
Me too! I want to be the great prince of the forest that never dies. I also don’t want to be in the wren category that only gets to live a few hard years. Even more so, I don’t want to deer to be hunted, wrens and children to know only a few years of singing, and for Mary to die. It’s frightening to think that one day Mary will go for one of her walks, and she won’t come back to put beauty to pen. She will be out brooding on the shore, imaging drowning and yet relishing the warm sun and the sandpiper chasing each wave in their daring games. Then, the ocean will rise up, grab on to her with a clutching wave, and take her back into the dark womb of everything. The sandpiper looks on astonished, perhaps thinking, “could have been me today.” One day it will be.
In Mary’s poem of yesterday she suggests that we be prepared for this goodbye.
Here I awake in Boston and recall yesterday looking out on the Boston Common where the last golden leaves fell before me as I walked through the park. Today I swear that I will act on my desire to run and chase the leaves, instead of brooding that soon winter will come. And perhaps, if I am strong enough, I will lay myself down into that crisp grass, and let the waves of joy and sorrow take me. For I am yours, dear earth, dear ocean, dear life, and dear death.
What desires are alive for you today?