Words Today by Wiliam Stafford

November has been kind so far this year. It has been filled with brilliant turning leaves, afternoons filled with warm sunshine, a hidden pumpkin, and late roses still blooming.  Until I reread this poem today, I never thought about the sounds of November. Tomorrow I will listen.


You will never be alone, you hear so deep
a sound when autumn comes. Yellow
pulls across the hills and thrums,
or the silence after lightening before it says
its names- and then the clouds' wide-mouthed
apologies. You were aimed from birth:
you will never be alone. Rain
will come, a gutter filled, an Amazon,
long aisles- you never heard so deep a sound,
moss on rock, and years. You turn your head-
that’s what the silence meant: you’re not alone.
The whole wide world pours down.

by William Stafford, from Smoke’s Way, 1983

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