Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven, can I do better?

I wonder what poems Mary Oliver (1935-2019), in her infinite wisdom, would be writing right now if she hadn’t passed away last year. So much of her work has already brought me comfort and peace this spring.

song sparrow
Song Sparrow, Palo Alto Baylands Natural Preserve. Photo by my friend Jeff Schwegman

“I Worried”

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,
hopeless.

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.

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