Friday, September 25, 2009

Monuments For a Friendly Girl at a Tenth Grade Party

Monuments for a Friendly Girl at a Tenth Grade Party

The only relics left are those long
spangled seconds our school clock
chipped out
when you crossed the social hall
and we found each other alive,
by our glances never to accept
our town's ways,
torture for advancement,
nor ever again be prisoners
by choice.

Now I learn you died
serving among the natives
of Garden City, Kansas,
part of a Peace Corps
before governments thought of it.

Ruth, over the horizon
your friends eat foreign chaff
and have addresses like titles,
but for you the crows and hawks patrol
the old river. May they never
forsake you, nor you need monuments
other than this I make,
and the one I hear clocks chip
in that world we found.

William Stafford

Posted over on Poetry Foundation

William Stafford, “Monuments for a Friendly Girl at a Tenth Grade Party” from Stories That Could Be True (New York: Harper & Row, 1977

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