I Looked Up

Home / Featured / I Looked Up

 

by Mary Oliver

 

I looked up and there it was
among the green branches of the pitchpines –

thick bird,
a ruffle of fire trailing over the shoulders and down the back –

color of copper, iron, bronze –
lighting up the dark branches of the pine.

What misery to be afraid of death.
What wretchedness, to believe only in what can be proven.

When I made a little sound
it looked at me, then it looked past me.

Then it rose, the wings enormous and opulent,
and, as I said, wreathed in fire.