Saturday, November 27, 2010

Meadowlark Sings and I Greet Him In Return

Meadowlark, when you sing it’s as if
You lay your yellow breast upon mine and say
Hello, hello, and are we not

Of one family, in our delight of life?
You sing, I listen.
Both are necessary
If the world is to continue going around
Night-heavy then light –laden, though not
Everyone knows this or at least
Not yet,

Or, perhaps, has forgotten it
In the torn fields,

In the terrible debris of progress

I am at my mother’s where because of her cognition level and inability to walk has care takers who come into the home 15 hours a day.  The caretaker is late so I take the “baby monitor” into my room so I can detect if my mother awakes and needs help.  I hear her breathe through the monitor as I do my daily meditation.  It is hard to concentrate on my breathe as her breathe is so close to my ear, as are her occasional snores.  After a while we breathe together, one family in our respiratory cycle if barely in waking hours.  Her slipping away into a world of silence I suppose I must admit is part and parcel of the cycle of life. I am not enlightened enough to be at peace with this. It seems terrible debris of the circumstances of living that brings her to this.  My heart is torn, yet in that opening I find that the bird held close to my breast and the unheard song is every more dear.

What do you struggle to accept as part of the way of life, of reality?

1 comment:

  1. I also am a long-time admirer of Mary Oliver. My mother died last week at age 95 after several years in a nursing home. I discovered a different meadowlark poem in "New and selected poems" volume 2 entitled "While I am writing a poem to celebrate summer, the meadowlark begins to sing" It spoke to me so deeply of the connection my mother had with nature and shared with me growing up in Minnesota--it touched my grief and I cried and cried. I will share the last stanzas
    "the faint pink roses
    that have never been improved, but come to bud
    then open like little soft sighs
    under the meadowlark's whistle, its breath-praise

    its trill-song, its anthem, its thanks, its
    alleluia. Alleluia, oh Lord.

    To it I added, "Go in peace, mother."