Thursday, June 10, 2010

Vacation With Mary

I'm out of Erie this week on a week's vacation. And what does one do during such a week? Among other things, enjoy some reading. So here's Mary with a lovely summer poem: Empty Branch in the Orchard.

To have loved
is everything.
I loved, once,

a hummingbird
who came every afternoon--
the freedom-loving male--

who flew by himself
to sample
the sweets of the garden,

to sit
on a high, leafless branch
with his red throat gleaming.

And then, he came no more.
And I'm still waiting for him,
ten years later,

to come back,
and he will, or he will not.
There is a certain commitment

that each of us is given,
that has to do
with another world,

if there is one.
I remember you, hummingbird.
I think of you every day

even as I am still here,
soaked in color, waiting
year after honey-rich year.

Mary Oliver