Winter 1991 • Vol. XIII No. 1 Poetry |

Bed

In the confused nights, when I wakeshaken by dreams, sometimesI don't know which bed I'm inin the long procession of beds that movelike Saints' Day floats before my eyes. Look! There's the cradle;there's the narrow, child's bed—and beyond a doorway archedlike a church, the father and motherbreathing out their small allotment of breath. And there's the oak four-posterwhere I burned all night,  thinkingof the boy who had begged for hoursbut wasn't allowedbetween the austere sheets. All beds are the same bed. Made fresheach morning, they rise on their springs like loaves of bread,only to be torn apart again each night:our futon; that Austrian feather bed; the pullman berththat rocked us together like unborn twins. When you first bedded me in a tangleof silks and soft skin, I learned in my bonesof bedrock and flower beds. Years laterI know why clouds outside an airplane window comfort usand why our youngest son embraced his mattress once not as if it were a lover but

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Linda Pastan is the author of numerous books of poetry including Traveling Light (Norton & Co, 2011). Her fourteenth collection, Insomnia, is forthcoming. She has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award, and in 2003 she won the Ruth Lilly prize for lifetime achievement.

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In the confused nights, when I wakeshaken by dreams, sometimesI don't know which bed I'm inin the long procession of beds that movelike Saints' Day floats before my eyes. Look! […]

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In the confused nights, when I wakeshaken by dreams, sometimesI don't know which bed I'm inin the long procession of beds that movelike Saints' Day floats before my eyes. Look! […]

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