Poetry of Kansas


In line at lunch I cross my fork and spoon
to ward off complicity-the ordered life
our leaders have offered us. Thin as a knife,
our chance to live depends on such a sign
while others talk and the Pentagon from the
is bouncing exact commands: "Forget your faith;
be ready for whatever it takes to win: we face
annihilation unless all citizens get in line."
I bow and cross my fork and spoon: somewhere
other citizens more fearfully bow
in a place terrorized by their kind of oppressive
Our signs both mean, "You hostages over there
will never be slaughtered by my act." Our vows
cross: never to kill and call it fate.

__William Stafford.

The Darkness Around Me Is Deep
William Stafford
(New York: HarperCollins. 1993)
Page 116

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May 20, 2005 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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