Featured in Vol.4 Issue 1 | The Spring 2015 Edition

Dear Mary Oliver,
by Gloria Heffernan

Thank you for inviting me to eavesdrop
on your conversations with the grasshopper;
for allowing me to follow at a safe distance
during your solitary walks through the fields
just beyond your back door.

Thank you for transforming the shoulder
of the road into an altar
when I see the body of a dead
deer or black snake lying there;
and for urging me to pause
and bow my head like a mourner
filing past the coffin of a fallen president.

Thank you for teaching me that the
gradual degradation of aging eyesight
is simply a command to look more closely,
study more deeply, see with my heart.

Thank you for instructing me in the arts of
reverence and presence and gratitude.
You who say you don’t know
“exactly what a prayer is,”
are the author of my morning vespers,
and the psalmist whose voice I hear
in the honking of the wild geese.

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