16 May 2017

Ruby.



Her Grave
by Mary Oliver


She would come back, dripping thick water, from the green bog.
She would fall at my feet, she would draw the black skin
from her gums, in a hideous and wonderful smile-----
and I would rub my hands over her pricked ears and her
cunning elbows,
and I would hug the barrel of her body, amazed at the unassuming
perfect arch of her neck.


It took four of us to carry her into the woods.
We did not think of music,
but, anyway, it began to rain
slowly.


Her wolfish, invitational, half-pounce.


Her great and lordly satisfaction at having chased something.


My great and lordly satisfaction at her splash
of happiness as she barged
through the pitch pines swiping my face with her
wild, slightly mossy tongue.


Does the hummingbird think he himself invented his crimson throat?
He is wiser than that, I think.


A dog lives fifteen years, if you're lucky.


Do the cranes crying out in the high clouds
think it is all their own music?


A dog comes to you and lives with you in your own house, but you
do not therefore own her, as you do not own the rain, or the
trees, or the laws which pertain to them.


Does the bear wandering in the autumn up the side of the hill
think all by herself she has imagined the refuge and the refreshment
of her long slumber?


A dog can never tell you what she knows from the
smells of the world, but you know, watching her, that you know
almost nothing.


Does the water snake with his backbone of diamonds think
the black tunnel on the bank of the pond is a palace
of his own making?


She roved ahead of me through the fields, yet would come back, or
wait for me, or be somewhere.


Now she is buried under the pines.


Nor will I argue it, or pray for anything but modesty, and
not to be angry.


Through the trees is the sound of the wind, palavering


The smell of the pine needles, what is it but a taste
of the infallible energies?


How strong was her dark body!


How apt is her grave place.


How beautiful is her unshakable sleep.


Finally,
the slick mountains of love break
over us.

Mary Oliver

6 comments:

Dee Evard said...

If means you lost Ruby...I am so sorry. There is a great void left when the oldest ones move on.

Mary said...

I didn't know Ruby all the well. Except I did. I knew her really well. It's just that she was Sister Ruby and always good. Like Ariel. All of our bad dogs sucked up so many of our words and photos, but, well, Ruby was always there, not taking up much space. But the best space. She took up tremendous space. The world is different today, without Ruby. Goodbye Ruby. I'm crying for you.

Anonymous said...

thanks for letting us know. i'm sure it's weird without her - it always is. we're supposed to get used to it, but we don't, really -- we just kind of get used to not being used to it. and that's ok. peace and love to you.

maryclover said...

Farewell Ruby! You are missed.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Thank you.

Penichops said...

Sad. What a magnificent lady