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.
But you have to know they are there before
Some time there will be a tomorrow without
So far, I haven’t let that happen, but after
I’m gone others may become faithless and
Before them will tumble the wide unbroken sea,
and without any hope they will stare at
So to you, Friend, I confide my secret:
to be a discoverer you hold close whatever
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 .