“The Way It Is” by William Stafford

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.


From Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems. Graywolf Press (January 7, 2014).

6 thoughts on ““The Way It Is” by William Stafford

  1. teresaevangeline

    Stafford may well be my favorite poet and this poem is among those I am particularly fond of. This thread that connects us all is what gives my life meaning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Teresa, i feel the same way.
      I wondered if any readers would pick up on this similar theme as in the previous poem I shared by Mary Oliver “The Return”:

      “And the rocks tumbled,
      And the earth shook.

      And the thread held.”

      Stafford and Oliver are two of my favorites. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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