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Morning Poem, by Mary Oliver

Every morning the world is created. Under the orange

sticks of the sun the heaped ashes of the night turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches — and the ponds appear like black cloth on which are painted islands

of summer lilies. If it is your nature to be happy you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination alighting everywhere. And if your spirit carries within it

the thorn that is heavier than lead — if it’s all you can do to keep on trudging —

there is still somewhere deep within you a beast shouting that the earth is exactly what it wanted —

each pond with its blazing lilies is a prayer heard and answered lavishly, every morning,

whether or not you have ever dared to be happy, whether or not you have ever dared to pray.

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