Poetry by Oliver

Look, the trees are turning
their own bodies into pillars
of light, are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon and fulfillment,
the long tapers of cattails are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders
of the ponds, and every pond, no matter what its name is, is
nameless now. Every year everything I have ever learned
in my lifetime leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss whose other side
is salvation, whose meaning
none of us will ever know. To live in this world
you must be able to do three things:
to love what is mortal; to hold it
against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.
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