Friday, October 12

A Face
It's just by chance, who
you are, but given myself
I take care of this being.
Nobody else will remember
its hunger, cold, loneliness:
I will be reminded, and care.

This face, like an old watch,
I carry wherever I go.
Grandmothers, grandfathers, you pictures,
you should forgive my regret:
my wanting another. I carry it
as you did. It belongs
somewhere, and I am taking it there.

On corners I let the wind
have all the world, and I turn
as a ship accepts the waves
but is itself and has a voyage
built into it, stubbornly.

The choice of being who you are
is offered us, or being nothing.
The mask of myself is an old gift
nobody else took. So I brought it here.
 - William Stafford

  • ". . . as I have said often enough, I write for myself in multiplicate,
    a not unfamiliar phenomenon on the horizon of shimmering deserts."
    - Vladimir Nabokov