The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by Liz Abrams-Morley

It's an answer to a prayer
never uttered,
the way sun breaks through
as you rise above clouds.

At the airport below, you left
your definition of January:
wind, sleet, snow,
the de-icer blowing

green goo onto wings
turning the plane the bright hue
of pureed spinach,
as when, for so many rote years

you stuffed baby food, homemade,
into small sterilized jars
and moved on auto-pilot
entombed in every bitter season.

How long since you've seen
clouds, really seen them—

this angle, bird's eye, white-backed
below you, bellies gray and overfed,
facing downward, emptying
out their treacheries: storm or ice.

Or maybe not. 
Flying south now, maybe you've
left foul weather behind you;
maybe all clouds are cumulus,

bellies white as their backs,
white as refined sugar, white
and pale as the driven snow
first spied on a new land by a planeload—

Sudan's Lost Boys, already thrice displaced,
who had been taught the simile
while scratching lessons into Kenya's
unforgiving baked earth,

but remained naïve about what
awaited them: their promised future,
the part they were never told,
how snow = tactile + wet + cold. 

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