“RSVP” by William Stafford

William Stafford


Ice melts in your glass; then
the glass melts. This party disintegrates
like sand when the tide comes in.

Your invitation was white, and pink.
It had flowers, and lace.
Nobody warned you it was
a pill you shouldn’t take.

“Your money and your life,”
the fine print said, and smiled.
By midnight your face goes blank
with loss: your time, your name.

And then at the window at the last—
the lost face of your child.

from Rattle #4, Fall 1995

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