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.
(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.)