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William Stafford

(January 17, 1914 – August 28, 1993 / Kansas)

The Well Rising


The well rising without sound,
the spring on a hillside,
the plowshare brimming through deep ground
everywhere in the field—


The sharp swallows in their swerve
flaring and hesitating
hunting for the final curve
coming closer and closer—


The swallow heart from wingbeat to wingbeat
counseling decisions, decision:
thunderous examples. I place my feet
with care in such a world.

Submitted: Thursday, April 15, 2010

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