Poetry Month: A Story That Could Be True (Stafford)

Kicking off National Poetry Month is one of my favorite poems.

A Story That Could Be True

If you were exchanged in a cradle and
your real mother died
without ever telling the story
then no one knows your name,
and somewhere in the world
your father is lost and needs you
but you are far away.

He can never find
how true you are, how ready.
When the great wind comes
and the robberies of the rain
you stand on the corner shivering.
The people who go by –
you wonder at their calm.

They miss the whisper that runs
any day in your mind,
“Who are you really, wanderer?” –
and the answer you have to give
no matter how dark and cold
the world around you is:
“Maybe I’m a king.”

– William Stafford, from Stories That Could Be True

For more on Stafford, visit the Friends of William Stafford web site. You can find a video short set to Stafford reading one of his poems.

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5 thoughts on “Poetry Month: A Story That Could Be True (Stafford)

  1. They miss the whisper that runs
    any day in your mind,
    “Who are you really, wanderer?” –
    and the answer you have to give
    no matter how dark and cold
    the world around you is:
    “Maybe I’m a king.”..

    divine ending, thanks for sharing…

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