For Mary Oliver

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For Mary Oliver

 

The alder twig skidded to a stop

on a hoar frosted slope

wearing winter bird cones — 

ruffled, feather thick —

 

a delivery just as surprising 

and indelible 

as a sudden flash of wings

 

and as untamed 

as the wind that brought it here,

a feathered forest

in a twig.

 

Now its curious shadows

soften 

the glittered meadow

to reveal the world in glimpses

 

a bright multitude of beginnings 

perched

in every ending.

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