Mom, I'm tired Can I sleep in your house tonight? Mom, is it alright If I stay for a year or two? Mom, I’ll be quiet It would be just to sleep at night And I’ll leave once I figure out How to pay for my own life too Mom, would you wash my back? This once, and then we can forget And I’ll leave what I’m chasing For the other girls to pursue Mom, am I still young? Can I dream for a few months more?


    One day you finally knew

    what you had to do, and began,

    though the voices around you

    kept shouting

    their bad advice–

    though the whole house

    began to tremble

    and you felt the old tug

    at your ankles.

    “Mend my life!”

    each voice cried.

    But you didn’t stop.

    You knew what you had to do,

    though the wind pried

    with its stiff fingers

    at the very foundations,

    though their melancholy

    was terrible.

    It was already late

    enough, and a wild night,

    and the road full of fallen

    branches and stones.

    But little by little,

    as you left their voices behind,

    the stars began to burn

    through the sheets of clouds,

    and there was a new voice

    which you slowly

    recognized as your own,

    that kept you company

    as you strode deeper and deeper

    into the world

    determined to do

    the only thing you could do–

    determined to save

    the only life you could save.

    Mary Oliver in New and Selected Poems, Volume 1

    Song: “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen

    iTunes :: Amazon :: Back to Brain Pickings