The great Spirit created the sky, the waters, land,
mountain, man and woman.
You know, Bill, forbidden fruit didn't ruin
the happy hunting ground;
it was all that road and strange bridge building.
I'm setting here trying hard to catch my breath;
no, don't fret, it ain't old age or sickness,
it's what the West does to easterners.
I come up here to tell you that you had the guts
plus the good sense to choose the proper road to travel.
The one I picked led me to a Purple Heart and
a thousand troubled dreams.
I truly believe the path you chose was the toughest;
nonviolence ain't ever popular or easy,
but I'm willing to bet when you slept,
you had good and peaceful dreams.
Don't scratch your head, Bill,
I met you through your poetry, thank you.
Good night, William Stafford, you can rest easy
knowing you did right thing.