Notice What This Poem Is Not Doing

by William Stafford

The light along the hills in the morning

comes down slowly, naming the trees

white, then coasting the ground for stones to nominate.



Notice what this poem is not doing.



A house, a house, a barn, the old

quarry, where the river shrugs--

how much of this place is yours?



Notice what this poem is not doing.



Every person gone has taken a stone

to hold, and catch the sun. The carving

says, "Not here, but called away."



Notice what this poem is not doing.



The sun, the earth, the sky, all wait.

The crowns and redbirds talk. The light

along the hills has come, has found you.



Notice what this poem has not done.