I rock high in the oak—secure, big branches—
at home while darkness comes. It gets lonely up here
as lights needle forth below, through airy space.
Tinkling dishwashing noises drift up, and a faint
smooth gush of air through leaves, cool evening
moving out over the earth. Our town leans farther
away, and I ride through the arch toward midnight,
holding on, listening, hearing deep roots grow.
There are rooms in a life, apart from others, rich
with whatever happens, a glimpse of moon, a breeze.
You who come years from now to this brief spell
of nothing that was mine: the open, slow passing
of time was a gift going by. I have put my hand out
on the mane of the wind, like this, to give it to you.
"Little Rooms" by William Stafford, from An Oregon Message. © Harper and Row, 1987.
Photography credit: Detail from "Austin, texas [sic], a barefoot boy climbing a gigantic live oak tree," by Meredith Winn Photography (originally color, heavily edited by curator).