stand still

so i’m at strong’s, sorta kinda doing some homework, and up comes a person i recognize from a creative writing class i took some years ago. and she asks me if i can remember a poem i brought in once (not by me) about being lost in the forest. of course i say, and i email her the poem.

now the amazing thing (to me) is that she remembered me, remembered that poem, remembered that i brought in that poem, and happened to bump into me at strong’s tonight. how does that happen? and why in the last several weeks have i described on separate occasions to different people my loss of faith in poetry?


by David Wagoner

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

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