Advertisement

Security, BY WILLIAM STAFFORD

Tomorrow will have an island. Before night

I always find it. Then on to the next island.

These places hidden in the day separate

and come forward if you beckon.

Advertisement

But you have to know they are there before

they exist.

Some time there will be a tomorrow without

any island.

Advertisement

So far, I haven’t let that happen, but after

I’m gone others may become faithless and

careless.

Before them will tumble the wide unbroken sea,

and without any hope they will stare at

the horizon.

So to you, Friend, I confide my secret:

to be a discoverer you hold close whatever

Advertisement

you find, and after a while you decide

what it is. Then, secure in where you have been,

you turn to the open sea and let go.

From “Passwords” (HarperPerennial: $10.95; 88 pp.). Stafford, winner of a National Book Award, lives in Lake Oswego, Oregon. 1991 by William Stafford. Reprinted by permission .


Advertisement