At the Un-National Monument Along the Canadian Border
This is the field where the battle did not happen,
where the unknown soldier did not die.
This is the field where grass joined hands,
where no monument stands,
and the only heroic thing is the sky.
Birds fly here without any sound,
unfolding their wings across the open.
No people killed — or were killed — on this ground
hallowed by neglect and an air so tame
that people celebrate it by forgetting its name.
From The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems
Copyright 1975, 1998 Estate of William Stafford
All rights reserved.
Reproduced with permission (click for permissions information).