Dear Mary,

Just hours before I heard of your illness, I read "Wild Geese" to a  client. She is a burgeoning writer, paralyzed, as many of us can be, by the fear of not being good enough. As a writer; as a person. I said to her, "You don't have to be good." And when I said those words I remembered your poem. Those lines, "You do not have to be good. / You do not have to walk on your knees / for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting." I always thought those lines were written for me.  Those lines are the first thirty years of my life. Every time I read this poem aloud my heart swells and my eyes tear up. 

Thankfully, I no longer feel like I have to walk on my knees for a hundred miles through the desert. Thankfully, I now feel like I am fully living my one wild and precious life. I shared “Wild Geese” with my client, just as I remember once sharing "The Summer Day" with a client who needed to be reminded that life is beautiful and fleeting and precious. Your words heal. I thank you.

Jennifer Lunden