As I said before, I am living now
in a warm place, surrounded by
mangroves. Mostly I walk beside
them, they discourage entrance.
The black oaks and the pines
of my northern home are in my heart,
even as I hear them whisper, “Listen,
we are trees too.” Okay, I’m trying. They
certainly put on an endless performance
of leaves. Admiring is easy, but affinity,
that does take some time. So many
and so leggy and all of them rising as if
attempting to escape this world which, don’t
they know it, can’t be done. “Are you
trying to fly or what?” I ask, and they
answer back, “We are what we are, you
are what you are, love us if you can.”
by Mary Oliver
This poem helped me so much when I was new to Florida and homesick for the northern forests. I wonder how many people she touched and comforted with her "not so fancy" poetry?
I originally used this poem in a post called Affinity as a Euphemism for Belonging that I posted in 2015 when I was homesick and lonely. I had not yet learned to write shorter posts or stick to a single theme. It wears me out going back and reading it. Now I could get three posts out of that one. If we are lucky, we live and learn like Mary Oliver. Rest in Peace, poet.