Hinge in the Wind, and: A Certain Bend
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36 THEMISSOURIREVIEW HINGE IN THE WIND / William Stafford When they come by, I sing them away: "Nobody home, nobody home," and the door stares back. I know they know. But one by one the spiders teach them: "Another place, it's another place." They come by here, but here is gone— not far, not near—it's everywhere. It has no door. Late snowflakes come drifting down, alone and perfect, never the same. They know I know: the spiders win. There are no locks to hold the world. Days leach past. When the wind returns what will it say? "Nobody home, nobody home." William Stafford 37 A CERTAIN BEND / William Stafford A certain bend in the road, swayed willows beyond a fence, and a flat farmyard waiting—we come around and that instant freezes: years later I remember. Why? Why did a lifetime pass, two wars, a family move and scatter, the country skid where it is—and only now that scene return? I put my teacup down here to hold it all steady. Was that the day I became the person I am? Father, you should have held my face in your hands and stared into my eyes. That farmyard or one like it could be ours, in Kansas, or Alaska, or anywhere. You would be there now, I would hold out my hand for whatever came, and the willows would bend still in that picture we saw that day. ...