Saturday, January 8, 2022



A Letter Not Even To Deliver

The world often has a quiet look.

I go down in the orchard quietly

to work every day, because trees keep

trouble away and a grove makes quiet work.

But a jagged glimpse can come — say, when a bird sings

down a row, or over toward a hill. I bow

to near views, and listen close, for this one day:

splendor is not for daily things.

And a bowed back is a disguise. I remember you, fair.

If you visit me, come some quiet way.

There might be an instant; the light might flame —

be quiet then. We are not too try far.

Only the brownest birds that come here belong here.


William Stafford

Smoke's Way

Graywolf Press, 1983