Reflections

A Magazine of Theological and Ethical Inquiry from Yale Divinity School

Two Poems by Mary Oliver

Author: 
Mary Oliver

WATCH I NG A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT POLAR

BEARS TRYING TO SURVIVE ON TH E MELTING ICE

FLOES

That God had a plan, I do not doubt.

But what if His plan was, that we would do better?

BLACK BEAR

Now comes black bear into the field. His mouth hangs open just a little. His bulk twitches in the long grass.

Listen, black bear, I say: Do you get it?

We have created cities!

We have weapons you will not ever imagine, or understand.

We build machines that fly, that plough the great waters.

Bear’s eyes flicker. His nose pinches the air. He does not care what I say.

He does not hear even a scrap of it.

He is listening only to the perfection of his own life.

Oh, black bear, soften me with your immutable disdain.

Issue Title: 
God's Green Earth
Issue Year: 
2007