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The Journey

One day you finally knewwhat you had to do, and began,

though the voices around youkept shoutingtheir bad advice --

though the whole housebegan to tremble

and you felt the old tugat your ankles."Mend my life!"each voice cried.

But you didn't stop. You knew what you had to do,

though the wind priedwith its stiff fingersat the very foundations,

though their melancholywas terrible.

It was already lateenough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallenbranches and stones.

But little by little,as you left their voice behind,the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,and there was a new voice

which you slowlyrecognized as your own,that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeperinto the world,

determined to dothe only thing you could do --

determined to savethe only life that you could save.


Mary Oliver


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