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  • Kathy Shimpock

"Assurance"a poem by William Stafford

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.


The following directions for reflective reading, comes from the Benedictine practice of Lectio Divina (or holy reading). I find this process equally valuable for uncovering the wisdom of poetry.

  1. Read the poem linked above slowly.

  2. As you do so, look for a word in the poem that stands out to you.

  3. Now, read the poem a second time.

  4. What phrase stands out for you?

  5. What is this poem saying to you today? What message might you take forward?

  6. Share you thoughts with us in the comment area below.

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