Posts Tagged ‘william stafford’

Everything? Really, Bill,
everything? That’s what you say.
“Cutting loose from all else.”
Of course I would want to forget
that line. Easier to talk about

being lost, the singing that rises
out of sorrow. But cutting loose
from all else? What would those
scissors look like? Imagine the size
of the blades. Snip. My house. Snip.

My family. Snip. My voice. My face.
My name. And then in come
the tiny scissors to cut the invisible
inner strands. Snip. My convictions.
Snip. My ambitions. Snip. My talents.

My dreams. Snip. Snip. With my lips, I say
I want to be cut loose. Meanwhile I wrap
myself in layer on layer on layer
of silken straight jackets and gossamer
shoulds. The threads feel familiar when

I feel them at all. And whose hand
would hold the scissors? And would
they cut them all at once? Or slowly, strand
by strand? See how I want to know.
Could I be the one who holds the scissors,

the heft of the handle, the ruthless
cutting edge, and then clip and clip
and clip and clip, every tether falling away,
my ears wildly alert for whatever
sounds might come.

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