from Mary Oliver's new collection of poetry, Thirst.
The Uses of Sorrow
(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)
Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.
I feel so close to understanding and so far at the same time. The Heavenly Hound, thank Him, is relentless. I want to stop and rest in His wild faithfulness, but I am so often afraid. Yet every taste has always been sweeter than honey.
Oliver writes in the title poem, the book's epilogue: "I was never a quick scholar but sulked / and hunched over my books past the / hour and the bell; grant me, in your / mercy, a little more time."
Oh, for a little more time, to learn Him in humility and love . . .