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Returned To Say

 When I face north a lost Cree
on some new shore puts a moccasin down,
rock in the light and noon for seeing,
he in a hurry and I beside him

It will be a long trip; he will be a new chief;
we have drunk new water from an unnamed stream;
under little dark trees he is to find a path
we both must travel because we have met.
Henceforth we gesture even by waiting; there is a grain of sand on his knifeblade so small he blows it and while his breathing darkens the steel his become set And start a new vision: the rest of his life.
We will mean what he does.
Back of this page the path turns north.
We are looking for a sign.
Our moccasins do not mark the ground.

by William Stafford
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