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A Valley Like This by William Stafford

The table is set. We are waiting for midnight.

Christmas eve, and loved ones are close by. I feel safe.

There are a few people I miss.

You, most of all. This time last year—well I was alone, too, come to think of it.

But my family is here with me, and for better or worse—mostly for worse, hah!—there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.

A Valley Like This
William Stafford

Sometimes you look at an empty valley like this,
and suddenly the air is filled with snow.
That is the way the whole world happened—
there was nothing, and then…

But maybe some time you will look out and even
the mountains are gone, the world become nothing
again. What can a person do to help
bring back the world?

We have to watch it and then look at each other.
Together we hold it close and carefully
save it, like a bubble that can disappear
if we don’t watch out.

Please think about this as you go on. Breath on the world.
Hold out your hands to it. When mornings and evenings
roll along, watch how they open and close, how they
invite you to the long party that your life is.

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