Karen Massey

Karen Massey reads “Mary Oliver in the Hereafter”

Mary Oliver in the Hereafter

I have walked back home, weightless beside a field of cosmos crowding ripe sunflowers. Tomorrow rests, set to go, brief as a match-head flare. Whether you waken hearing birdsong or feathery catastrophes, what do you bring to honour self in the process?

Meanwhile, across the lake starlight slides into the moon's reflection. In what forest will you sleep tonight? How will you make your repairs?

I pause, to look out through the dark sentient eyes of nearby horses.

Look up.

How becoming, the chestnut mare, bending with her foal to nibble apples wizening on dirt in the frosty orchard, shared breath visible in the ghostly haze. Consider what next slips in, a small pact of deer have come furtively over the field to share the fallen fruit in this nurtured safety.

Sing light, implores the mare, gently nickering to her foal. Hope is not expressly for the holy. Moreover: Joy.

Come enter the light in the eye of the mare that would lead you forward. Sip this light, nudges the horse that would lead you to fresh water.

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