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Wind Gift

by William Stafford

For you, something not put
        even in prayer.
Like broad wings that swim thick
        under your fall
And won’t let you drop
        through the air.

Or the same thing under the sea
        where your boat goes.
A teeming companionship
        of life too full for a hollow
—the way a canyon’s alive
        when it snows.

That’s the way, under and over
        and all around—
Miraculous out of the void
        All for you—
        so wild the eye roves
        wing, fin, flake
        nor touches the ground.


William Stafford was born in 1914 and died in 1993. The author of many widely admired volumes of poetry and prose, he won the National Book Award for his poetry collection Traveling through the Dark and served as consultant in poetry at the Library of Congress—the position now known as poet laureate of the United States. “Wind Gift” will appear in the forthcoming Another World Instead: The Early Poems of William Stafford, 1937-1947, edited by Fred Marchant. (4/2008)

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