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I Met Mary Oliver The Other Day

Rhys Matthew Avatar  Send Soup Mail  Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled I Met Mary Oliver The Other Day which was written by poet Rhys Matthew. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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I Met Mary Oliver The Other Day

I met Mary Oliver the other day,
next to Starbucks in that store
where softcovers surely number
well into the mid-to-high six digits.

Ours was a chance encounter, 
as neither of us would travel in 
any of the same circles and my
disparate world is far from hers.

There was no particular reason 
why I should pause on my worn path 
to Real Estate, the Journal
tucked too close to my heart.

or why her poems, selected
me to stop and stray, but
life seems capricious that way
or in this case, perhaps just
proof of a merciful God

who knew I had forgotten 
the frog’s slide off a lily pad
and the quiet undulating ripple
his first stroke made that day
near a content summer bank 
of my parents’ old mill pond

or that 12-year old’s simple joy
under a clear crystalline night 
setting up his new telescope and
peering into the splendor of heaven,

all that lost time not knowing 
or frankly even caring, exactly
how many light years exist 
between us and Sirius.

And as I slowly turned her pages
she loaned me her prism to see
anew wild geese and goldenrod,
egrets and forgotten war heroes and
the truth of holding on and letting go,  

when deep down this delightful tingle
fluttered up quite unexpectedly 
before the corners of my mouth 
turned up in a smile I could not stop

Someday, I’d like to meet Ms. Oliver
to thank her for so many generous gifts. 
In the meantime, I will very carefully,  
but probably clumsily, untie the ribbons 
of each precious gift not wanting 
to be certain of its contents too soon.

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  1. Date: 5/21/2011 12:34:00 PM
    ths is fresh revealing touching and welcome as an addition to this poetry network.....loved it .....and it is so typical of many childhood episodes which happen to many children....please write more poems of this quality and I will be delighted....well thought out and well written ...congratulations

    Matthew Avatar Rhys Matthew
    Date: 5/21/2011 1:25:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    thanks! -- soupmail to you.
  1. Date: 5/21/2011 10:37:00 AM
    R.M.F., what nice memories... lovely feelings and the smile line.. was like magic.. thanks for sharing,..p.d.

    Matthew Avatar Rhys Matthew
    Date: 5/21/2011 11:07:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    sorry, i mean "inspire" not inpire. proof that i don't proof. and that i still split infinitives.
    Matthew Avatar Rhys Matthew
    Date: 5/21/2011 10:44:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    thanks so much. i'm new to this poetry stuff and to expressing feelings, but folks like you inpire me
  1. Date: 5/21/2011 10:26:00 AM
    So enjoyed reading your amazing creative poetry with its interesting theme... very expressive content luv.. enjoyed ..

    Matthew Avatar Rhys Matthew
    Date: 5/21/2011 10:35:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry


    then i'm really honored, because i have been admiring much of your writing for weeks now.