The Way of the World

The Way of the World

Mary Oliver

The chickens ate all the crickets.

The foxes ate all the chickens.

This morning a friend hauled his

boat to shore and gave me the most

wondrous fish. In its silver scales

it seemed dressed for a wedding.

The gills were pulsing, just above

where the shoulders would be, if it had

had shoulders. The eyes were still

looking around, I don’t know what

they were thinking.

The chickens ate all the crickets.

The foxes ate all the chickens.

I ate the fish.

from A Thousand Mornings

oliver thousand

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6 thoughts on “The Way of the World

  1. What an interesting poem. I love the imagery of “In its silver scales

    it seemed dressed for a wedding.” What a unique way to describe the fish and its inherent beauty. Thanks for stopping by my blog today, I enjoy hearing from you.

  2. What a great poem. I used to fish and, somehow, ended up being the one who cleaned the fish to eat as well. Rick showed me how to do it and I was quickly better at it than he was. There’s a lesson in there about being careful what you get good at because it just means you’ll do more of it. So, I’ve seen fish in that state and had to find the way of the world to get the job done.

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