Are You Mr. William Stafford?”

Are you Mr. William Stafford?

BY WILLIAM E. STAFFORD

 

“Are you Mr. William Stafford?”
“Yes, but….”

Well, it was yesterday.
Sunlight used to follow my hand.
And that’s when the strange siren-like sound flooded
over the horizon and rushed through the streets of our town.
That’s when sunlight came from behind
a rock and began to follow my hand.

“It’s for the best,” my mother said—”Nothing can
ever be wrong for anyone truly good.”
So later the sun settled back and the sound
faded and was gone. All along the streets every
house waited, white, blue, gray: trees
were still trying to arch as far as they could.

You can’t tell when strange things with meaning
will happen. I’m [still] here writing it down
just the way it was. “You don’t have to
prove anything,” my mother said. “Just be ready
for what God sends.” I listened and put my hand
out in the sun again. It was all easy.

Well, it was yesterday. And the sun came,
Why
It came.

 

You can’t tell when strange things with meaning
will happen. I’m here writing it down
just the way it was.

He wrote this poem on the morning he died, 28th August 1993. It was his last piece. 

 

 
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