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The Christmas Bird

Excerpt from Upstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver

illustration of bird flying

Fly Away by Susie Loucks

On a December morning, many years ago, I brought a young, injured black-backed gull home from the beach.  It was, in fact, Christmas morning, as well as bitter cold, which may account for my act. Injured gulls are common; nature’s maw receives them again implacably; almost …

Mary Oliver has earned numerous writing awards including the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. This essay is from Upstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver, just published by Penguin Press. The essay was originally published as “Bird” from the volume Owls and Other Fantasies by Mary Oliver, published by Beacon Press, Boston. Copyright 2003 by the author. Used here by permission of the Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency, Inc.

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Book ExcerptsChristmasPersonal EssayAnimalsCompassion

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