No Matter What
by Mary Oliver, from Blue Horses (Penguin, 2014)
No matter what the world claims,
its wisdom always growing, so it’s said,
some things don’t alter with time:
the first kiss is a good example,
and the flighty sweetness of rhyme.
No matter what the world preaches
spring unfolds at its appointed time,
the violets open and the roses,
snow in its hour builds its shining curves,
there’s the laughter of children at play,
and the wholesome sweetness of rhyme.
No matter what the world does,
Some things don’t alter with time.
The first kiss, the first death,
The sorrowful sweetness of rhyme.