Mary Oliver passed away last week and the earth lost one of its true voices and friends. When I was a college freshman, I had the good fortune to have taken a poetry class with Mary Oliver. I remember that special time as such a lucky gift.

When Mary O. Taught Us

 

In a small, walnut room

Our loose circle sat weekly

Only nine of us with her,

As we read our raw words in wobbly voices

And she listened

So carefully.

 

As we read and fed each other,

The impossibility of her being there

fell away.

And she guided us on,

Teaching us to choose more carefully,

see more deeply, and

let the fears of unworthiness pass,

So that our voices may

flow more freely.

 

Claudia Browne, January 22, 2019

 

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When Mary O. Taught Us