2017/05/14

Our Kind

Our mother knew our worth-
not much. To her, success
was not being noticed at all.
“If we can stay out of jail,”
she said, “God will be proud of us.”

“Not worth a row of pins,”
she said, when we looked at the album:
“Grandpa?-ridiculous.”
Her hearing was bad, and that
was good: “None of us ever says much.”

She sent us forth equipped
for our kind of world, a world of
our betters, in a nation so strong
its greatest claim is no boast,
its leaders telling us all, “Be proud”-

But over their shoulders, God and
our mother, signaling: “Ridiculous.”

William Stafford

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