A Story that Could be True

by William Stafford

If you were exchanged in the cradle and
your real mother died
without ever telling the story
then no one knows your name,
and somewhere in the world
your father is lost and needs you
but you are far away.

He can never find
how true you are, how ready.
When the great wind comes
and the robberies of the rain
you stand on the corner shivering.
The people who go by—
you wonder at their calm.

They miss the whisper that runs
any day in your mind,
“Who are you really, wanderer?”—
and the answer you have to give
no matter how dark and cold
the world around you is:
“Maybe I’m a king.”

As part of the English Department’s annual celebration of the great poet’s birthday, the Art Museum is pleased to host this year’s William Stafford Poetry Reading. Attendees are invited to bring their own favorite poem by Stafford for reading and discussion. Birthday cake will be served. For more information, please contact Elizabeth Lemoine at elemoine@princeton.edu.

Location: Art Museum
Date/Time: 01/14/10 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm