The Right to Be Forgotten

The Right to Be Forgotten

By: Kim Stafford


Among the many forms of wealth,

in the catalog of luxuries, a quiet

morning such as this where

I choose the right to be forgotten

as the foxglove footed among stones

beside the rivulet without a name

steps deliberately down

from rain toward the rumor

of the sea. Rare privilege this

fame of the butterfly, wings

like flames, all flit and scamper

by whim of the spiral tongue

seeking what is sweet and free.

First published in The Right to Be Forgotten (a chapbook of poems).

Poet Kim Stafford grew up in Oregon, Iowa, Indiana, California, and Alaska, following his parents as they taught and traveled through the West. He is the author of a dozen books of poetry and prose, and the director of the Northwest Writing Institute at Lewis & Clark College, where he has taught since 1979.