William Stafford

(January 17, 1914 – August 28, 1993 / Kansas)

Across Kansas


My family slept those level miles
but like a bell rung deep till dawn
I drove down an aisle of sound,
nothing real but in the bell,
past the town where I was born.

Once you cross a land like that
you own your face more: what the light
struck told a self; every rock
denied all the rest of the world.
We stopped at Sharon Springs and ate--

My state still dark, my dream too long to tell.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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