Cambridge Book Review

[Issue #16, Spring 2009]

This Bed

Sarah Busse

The milk paint cannot be stripped from the wood,
rusts deeper into the grain with every year
as blood will stain a sheet, or fall, a hill.

This bed is all land, fertile and farmed, square
as an Iowa field and heavy with its burdens.

Not our first bed, that narrow dorm cot,
nor second, the handy frame you hammered for me.
This bed I dreamed my girlhood in becomes

our third, charmed and lucky, high
off the floor, a house's secrets stowed between its legs:

a solid, home-carved trestlework, a fastness
made for a farmer's bride two hundred years ago.
I think it filled her two-room house.

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Sarah Busse has published poems in various journals and magazines, including most recently the magazine Poet Lore, the broadzine Arbor Vitae, and the online journal, Mezzo Cammin. The co-editor of the Wisconsin poetry magazine Free Verse, she lives with her husband and two children in Madison, Wisconsin. You can find her online at

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