This dream the world is having about itself
includes a trace on the plains of the Oregon trail,
a groove in the grass my father showed us all
one day while meadowlarks were trying to tell
something better about to happen.
I dreamed the trace to the mountains, over the hills,
and there a girl who belonged wherever she was.
But then my mother called us back to the car:
she was afraid; she always blamed the place,
the time, anything my father planned.
Now both of my parents, the long line through the plain,
the meadowlarks, the sky, the world’s whole dream
remain, and I hear him say while I stand between the two,
helpless, both of them part of me:
“Your job is to find what the world is trying to say.”
As an atheist, I hate to say it, but Stafford is a believer, but beauty is beauty and wonder is wonder and in Stafford's believing is the intelligence to realize that the goal of all humankind is to understand the dream within the waking we inhabit. People of intelligence soon realize that the universe is still a beautiful and wondrous thing, even if you allow yourself to understand how it really works. Read Shakespeare's "The Tempest" for more about dreaming awake. It's better than a Bible.
"You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake." —Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973)