Poem: The Children Need Us

The Dinner Party Ending with Ragtime

Poem by Kim Stafford, written after a Stewardship Conversation with SAGE

This is the oldest thing we do: hunting and gathering

roots, tools, notions, and songs we chant to sustain the children.

How are the children? we say. And the answer is The children

need us to save the seed corn, stare hard at the time horizon,

build a space where we can settle our strife, and make beautiful

decisions in keeping with the little ones’ best chance.


So we listen to the future, we nourish the smallest

tributaries to the river we will braid with kind words,

generous listening, ecstatic dancing, taming the wild

technology creature we bore to be an instrument

for human thriving, learning to play the tune

as slowly as it was meant to be.


We are emissaries from the future, come back

to lay a foundation for the world we want to be.

So may every meeting begin with gracious welcome

and end with laughter and a song.