The Journey by Mary Oliver

The  Journey

 One day you finally knew

 what you had to do, and began,

 though the voices around you

 kept shouting

 their bad advice–

 though the whole house

 began to tremble

 and you felt the old tug

 at your ankles.

 “Mend my life!”

 each voice cried.

 But you didn’t stop.

 You knew what you had to do,

 though the wind pried

 with its stiff fingers

 at the very foundations,

 though their melancholy

 was terrible.

 It was already late

 enough, and a wild night,

 and the road full of  fallen

 branches and stones.

 But little by little,

 as you left their voices behind,

 the stars began to burn

 through the sheets of clouds,

 and there was a new voice

 which you slowly

 recognized as your own,

 that kept you  company

 as you strode deeper and deeper

 into the world,

 determined to do

 the only thing you could do–

 determined to save 

 the only life you could save.

-Mary Oliver

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