Two people meet. The sky turns winter,
quells whatever they would say.
Then, a periphery glance into danger--
and an avalanche already on its way.
They have been honest all of their lives;
careful, calm, never in haste;
they didn't know what it is to meet.
Now they have met: the world is waste.
They find they are riding an avalanche
feeling at rest, all danger gone.
The present looks out of their eyes; they stand
calm and still on a speeding stone.
William Stafford was Poet Laureate in 1970. The Monrovia Public Library has his books Allegiances, A Glass Face in the Rain, Oregon Message, Passwords, The Rescued Year, and Stories That Could Be True.