The sound of a dog splashing about in the creek. Not like a boy, not like a fish, but like Ben, precisely.

I am mad, as the saying goes, for the music of Schumann and Wolf.

The shriek, then the happiness of the drawn nail. How it blinks again, in the sunlight.

The world spins, doesn’t it? Change rules the universe, doesn’t it?

There’s life and there’s opera, and I want both.

Ben, circling through the fields. He has a whole university in his nose.

The Shelleys. They lived in the burn of ideals. They lived with awful fate lurking.

The spider: out of the sink, into the geraniums. Then I forget and water the geraniums vigorously.

Why not believe in the goldfinches. The thistles, too.

While I watched, the fly went into Ben’s snapping mouth, then, out again. Then, in.

Blue pastures (1995), Mary Oliver