Silver Star

William Stafford

To be a mountain you have to climb alone
and accept all that rain and snow. You have to look far away when evening comes. If a forest
grows, you care; you stand there leaning against
the wind, waiting for someone with faith enough
to ask you to move. Great stones will tumble
against each other and gouge your sides. A storm
will live somewhere in your canyons hoarding its lightning.

If you are lucky, people will give you a dignified
name and bring crowds to admire how sturdy you are, how long you can hold still for the camera. And some time, they say, if you last long enough you will hear God;a voice will roll down from the sky and all your patience will be rewarded. The whole world will hear it: “Well done.”