Mary Oliver





Percy Speaks While I Am Doing Taxes

First of all, I do not want to be doing this.
Second of all, Percy does not want me
      to be doing this,
bent over the desk like a besieged person
      with a dull pencil and innumerable lists
           of numbers.

Outside the water is blue, the sky is clear,
      the tide rising.
Percy, I say, this has to be done. This is
      essential. I’ll be finished eventually.

“Keep me in your thoughts,” he replies. “Just because
      I can’t count to ten doesn’t mean
I don’t remember yesterday, or anticipate today.
      I’ll give you ten more minutes,” and he does.
     Then shouts—who could resist—his
          favorite words: Let’s go!