How far friends are! They forget you,
most days. They have to, I know; but still,
it’s lonely just being far and a friend.
I put my hand out—this chair, this table—
So near: touch, that’s how to live.
Call up a friend? All right, but the phone
itself is what loves you, warm on your ear,
on your hand. Or, you lift a pen
to write—it’s not that far person
but this familiar pen that comforts.
Near things: Friend, here’s my hand.
“Friends” by William Stafford from The Way It Is. © Graywolf Press, 1998.
One thought on ““Friends” by William Stafford”
William Stafford is my favorite poet and writing teacher. Even though I have that book I never noticed this poem. It’s so appropriate for what we’re all going through during this pandemic. Thanks for sharing. I’ve posted many favorite Stafford poems on my blog, but one I love the most is The Way It Is https://theuncarvedblog.com/2009/09/05/william-stafford-the-way-it-is/.
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