Moccasin Flowers

All my life,
so far,
I have loved
more than one thing,
including the mossy hooves
of dreams, including
the spongy litter
under the tall trees.
In spring
the moccasin flowers
reach for the crackling
lick of the sun
and bum down. Sometimes,
in the shadows,
I see the hazy eyes,
the lamb-lips
of oblivion,
its deep drowse,
and I can imagine a new nothing
in the universe,
the matted leaves splitting
open, revealing
the black planks
of the stairs.
But all my life—so far—
I have loved best
how the flowers rise
and open, how
the pink lungs of their bodies
enter the Are of the world
and stand there shining
and willing—the one
thing they can do before
they shuffle forward
into the floor of darkness, they
become the trees.
—Mary Oliver