Thursday, March 06, 2008

Thursday Poem - The Gift

Time wants to show you a different country. It's the one
that your life conceals, the one waiting outside
when curtains are drawn, the one Grandmother hinted at
in her crochet design, the one almost found
over at the edge of the music, after the sermon.

It's the way life is, and you have it, a few years given.
You get killed now and then, violated
in various ways. (And sometimes it's turn about.)
You get tired of that. Long-suffering, you wait
and pray, and maybe good things come—maybe
the hurt slackens and you hardly feel it any more.
You have a breath without pain. It is called happiness.

It's a balance, the taking and passing along,
the composting of where you've been and how people
and weather treated you. It's a country where
you already are, bringing where you have been.
Time offers this gift in its millions of ways,
turning the world, moving the air, calling
every morning, "Here, take it, it's yours."

William Stafford, The Gift

William Stafford does it for me every time, in rain or ice or deep snow and howling wind, on this grey morning at the beginning of March when there is yet another snow storm on the way. This beautiful poem deserves something other than just another one of my multitudinous winter images, but winter is the gift I have been given.

3 comments:

Shelli said...

I LOVE the poem. Thanks.

Nancy J. Bond said...

Though I don't believe I've read him before, this poem certainly did it for me -- a much needed reprieve on an endless winter evening.

ellen said...

I found your beautiful spot through Crayons. Years ago I was given the unimaginable gift of being in William Stafford's classes while I was attending Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. It was an unexpected gift, a revelation for me and one that I have treasured for over 40 years.
Your words and photos are glorious.
Thank you.