Mary Oliver

Work, Sometimes

I was sad all day, and why not. There I was, books piled 
on both sides of the table, paper stacked up, words 
falling off my tongue.

The robins had been a long time singing, and now it 
was beginning to rain.

What are we sure of? Happiness isn’t a town on a map, 
or an early arrival, or a job well done, but good work 
ongoing. Which is not likely to be the trifling around 
with a poem.

Then it began raining hard, and the flowers in the yard 
were full of lively fragrance.

You have had days like this, no doubt. And wasn’t it 
wonderful, finally, to leave the room? Ah, what a 

As for myself, I swung the door open. And there was 
the wordless, singing world. And I ran for my life.

spoken = Susannah Wood