Mary Oliver

Sleeping in the Forest


I thought the earth remembered
me,
she took me back so
tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her
pockets
full of lichens and
seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on
the river bed,
nothing between me and the white
fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated
light as moths
among the branches of the perfect
trees.
All night I heard the small
kingdoms
breathing around me, the
insects,
and the birds who do their work in
the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in
water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By
morning
I had vanished at least a dozen
times
into something
better.

from Sleeping In The
Forest
by Mary Oliver
© Mary Oliver