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William Stafford, "Ask Me," from The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems. Copyright (C) 1977, 1998 by the Estate of William Safford. Reprinted with the permission of Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt — ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.
I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look
at the silent river and wait. We know
the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.
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Last updated on Saturday, December 10, 2011.
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