8 December 2013

(In case you missed it at The Writer’s Almanac on December 6, Mary Oliver’s poem “I Looked Up” inspired this.)




My love for you is like a mountain lake — hidden

though not inaccessible. Harder

to reach in winter when I need snowshoes

and poles to make the trek.


Once when I was avoiding you, I set a course

up a new trail but the snow

distracted me forced me up a gorge

straight to you. Waiting there


was a Steller’s jay, his black crest peeking out

from a ponderosa pine. I think Mary Oliver

sent him. She knew that I needed that burst

of blue wings, telling me not to be afraid.





  1. Beautiful. Really.

  2. I hiked in the Rockies this summer and saw two mountain lakes we had to climb far to find, and they’re are stunning in their beauty.

    To spot a flash of blue, yes, that is hope, sent by Mary or Emily D. She understands the need for the thing with feathers.

  3. They are…

  4. i think i saw those blue wings
    i think that they flew by