Reflections by Jerry Webber

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Learning: A Poem by William Stafford

I have lots of reasons to love William Stafford's poetry. This poem is one of them . . . simple, straight, spare.

Stafford was a pacifist and a conscientious objector. It's worthwhile to spend some time keeping company with this poem.

by William Stafford

A piccolo played then a drum.
Feet began to come – a part
of the music. Here came a horse,
clippety clop, away.

My mother said, "Don't run –
the army is after someone
other than us. If you stay
you'll learn our enemy."

Then he came, the speaker. He stood
in the square. He told us who
to hate. I watched my mother's face,
its quiet. "That's him," she said.

[Stafford, The Way It Is, p. 9]

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