Mary Oliver: Devotions (2020, Penguin Books) No rating

Throughout her celebrated career, Mary Oliver has touched countless readers with her brilliantly crafted verse, …

The Gift by Mary Oliver

After the wind-bruised sea furrowed itself back into folds of blue, I found in the black wrack

a shell called the Neptune— tawny and white, spherical, with a tail

and a tower and a dark door, and all of it no larger

than my fist. It looked, you might say, very expensive. I thought of its travels

in the Atlantic’s wind-pounded bowl and wondered that it was still intact.

Ah yes, there was that door that held only the eventual, inevitable emptiness.

There’s that—there’s always that. Still, what a house to leave behind! I held it

like the wisest of books and imagined its travels toward my hand. And now, your hand.

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