Giving

This is a poem by Mary Oliver, from her collection Evidence. I heard it recently a the start of a yoga class, and it’s been sitting in the back of my head since.

Philip’s Birthday

I gave,
to a friend that I care for deeply,
something that I loved.
It was only a small

extremely shapely bone
that came from the ear
of a whale.
It hurt a little

to give it away.
The next morning
I went out, as usual,
at sunrise,

and there, in the harbor,
was a swan.
I don’t know
what he or she was doing there,

but the beauty of it
was gift
Do you see what I mean?
You give, and you are given.

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