Clapp's Pond

by Mary Oliver

Three miles through the woods
Clapp's Pond sprawls stone gray
among oaks and pines,
the late winter fields

where a pheasant blazes up
lifting his yellow legs
under bronze feathers, opening
bronze wings;

and one doe, dimpling the ground as she touches
its dampness sharply, flares
out of the brush and gallops away.


By evening: rain.
It pours down from the black clouds,
lashes over the roof. The last
acorns spray over the porch; I toss
one, then two more
logs on the fire.


How sometimes everything
closes up, a painted fan, landscapes and moments
flowing together until the sense of distance - - -
say, between Clapp's Pond and me - - -
vanishes, edges slide together
like the feathers of a wing, everything
touches everything.


Later, lying half-asleep under
the blankets, I watch
while the doe, glittering with rain, steps
under the wet slabs of the pines, stretches
her long neck down to drink


from the pond
three miles away.

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