On Discovering the William Stafford Online Archive

I have many fathers
for no man can father
a whole boy –
a boy being something
that goes beyond
mere upbringing
or any borders
a father can patrol.

My fathers are many,
as I am many;
they stand spread out
along the road of my life,
some behind me,
their light throwing
my long shadow forward
into the future;

others ahead
waiting, beckoning,
ready to smile
and bless me
as I pass.