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"Beside the Road While Our Nation Is at War"

Kim Stafford
writer, western U.S., poet

In our son's young hand,
borrowed from the ground in California,
five acorns glisten and roll.
"Dad! These could be bullets!
Will you help me make a gun?"

His eyes look up into mine.

"Or Dad! They could be magic
seeds! Will you help me make
a bag with a hole—so
they drop along the path
and grow?" I take his hand in mine.

"Little friend, we must decide."


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Kim Stafford grew up in Oregon, Iowa, Indiana, California, and Alaska, following his parents as they taught and traveled through the West. He is the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, and the director of the Northwest Writing Institute, and co-director (with Joanne Mulcahy) of the Documentary Studies Certificate Program at Lewis & Clark College, where he has taught since 1979.

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