Thursday, September 24, 2009

Returned To Say

Painting by Paula Ehrler

Returned To Say

When I face north a lost Cree
on some new shore puts a moccasin down,
rock in the light and noon for seeing,
he in a hurry and I beside him

It will be a long trip;
he will be a new chief;
we have drunk new water
from an unnamed stream;
under little dark trees
he is to find a path
we both must travel
because we have met.

Henceforth we gesture even by waiting;
there is a grain of sand
on his knifeblade
so small he blows it
and while his breathing
darkens the steel his become set

And start a new vision:
the rest of his life.
We will mean what he does.
Back of this page
the path turns north.
We are looking for a sign.
Our moccasins do not mark the ground.

William Stafford

Posted over on Poemhunter

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