Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Almost a Conversation

I have not really, not yet, talked with otter
about his life.

He has so many teeth, he has trouble
with vowels.
Wherefore our understanding
is all body expression—
he swims like the sleekest fish,
he dives and exhales and lifts a trail of bubbles.
Little by little he trusts my eyes
and my curious body sitting on the shore.

Sometimes he comes close.
I admire his whiskers
and his dark fur which I would rather die than wear.

He has no words, still what he tells about his life
is clear.
He does not own a computer.
He imagines the river will last forever.
He does not envy the dry house I live in.
He does not wonder who or what it is that I worship.
He wonders, morning after morning, that the river
is so cold and fresh and alive, and still
I don't jump in.

~ Mary Oliver ~ from Evidence)
 © Beacon Press, 2009. Reprinted with permission. (buy now

1 comment:

Gib Parrish said...

Thanks for the thought-provoking poem and the wonderful otter pictures. The poem brought images to my mind of the contrast between the human and non-human animal worlds, and how different--at least as far as we know--human perception is from animal perception.