Saturday, December 11, 2010


by William Stafford

It is the ocean at home.

It is easy, but it has deep rules.

It is a liquid fact apparently random
but riveted together by all the necessities
enforced by the universe.

A shadow moves from its place on a rock
and hidden dramas adjust their feet
for the newest step in the oldest dance.

Something grim tickles its way
forward, staring from under mother of pearl.

Minnows play to confuse the sun —
they belong to a plot that only
the deepest toes in the sand can explain.

Every color has a place and a secret reason.

When the next wave comes, all the others
forget what their mission was.

Over in China some child is waiting
for all the connected promises in the water
that your next step will begin.

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