The Crossing

Linda Pastan

I wake to the small applause
of rain, then sleep again

and somewhere between dusk
and dawn a curtain falls and rises.

My dreams carry me
on their shifting backs

as if I were the round earth
balanced on the back of the tortoise

which pulls its head in now, safe and dry
within its perfect mosaic.

Listen: it is raining;
there is applause.

I must take my bows
and cross the swaying bridge, suspended

between sleep
and what is coming next.


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Kenyon Review
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