Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day

A poem in your pocket is a lovely thought that brings me comfort. Today, April 30, is a whole day dedicated to its loveliness.

“Poem in Your Pocket Day” started in 2003 in New York City and has spread across the country. The idea is simple: carry copies of a poem and share it with others.

The poem I will carry in my pocket today is I Worried by Mary Oliver. It’s posted below after a wonderful photo taken just last week by a talented photographer who is a neighbor and friend of mine, Jann Ledbetter. She took this picture near the Columbia River in southern Washington and I think even Oliver herself would agree that it fits the poem well.

Lazuli buntings doing their thing, without a thought for the barbed wire fence they're perched upon — or for who sees them.
Lazuli buntings are North American songbirds. These two beauties are doing their thing without a thought for the hazards of the barbed wire fence they’re perched upon — or for who sees them. Photo ©Jann Ledbetter

I Worried
by Mary Oliver

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not, how shall
I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,
hopeless.

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.

—©Mary Oliver, from Swan Poems and Prose, Beacon Press, 2010

One thought on “Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day

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