For My Young Friends Who Are Afraid
by William Stafford
There is a country to cross you will
find in the corner of your eye, in
the quick slip of your foot—air far
down, a snap that might have caught.
And maybe for you, for me, a high, passing
voice that finds its way by being
afraid. That country is there, for us,
carried as it is crossed. What you fear
will not go away: it will take you into
yourself and bless you and keep you.
That’s the world, and we all live there.
“For My Young Friends Who Are Afraid” by William Stafford from The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems. © Graywolf Press, 1998