Sky by DeWitt Clinton


DeWitt Clinton

That’s the plan, board in the evening, arrive
In the afternoon, halfway around our world.
It’s windy up here, but we’ll not feel it as we
Soar in silence all through the night. Maybe
I’ll stand so I won’t cramp up, or worse, let
A clot or two find their way to my old lungs.
Who’d want that to happen, really?

They come by, the stewardesses, all dressed
The same, saying the same things. Nuts?
Tea, coffee, soda? Would you like a napkin?
Of course, some are offered something stiffer
Behind the curtain, so yes, we’re in 2ndclass.
Though it’s already night, the cities below
Light up all the blue, blue-gray clouds, so
It’s a sky full with clouds beyond compare.

I’ll make a note of this, just for you, in case
Something we don’t want to happen happens.
Then someone tries to change seats. Soon
They arrive, stewards, jackets buttoned.
The passenger then throws her drink, then

I’m in a fine rain shower of cool Chablis Blanc.
Another woman is now dripping mascara.
Others are annoyed, and out come all those
Phones posting the brouhaha everywhere.

The plane shudders, so the stewards and
Stewardesses find their special safe seats.
They close the curtain quickly behind them.
I’m looking into my carry-on for something
Tasty along the way. I open a plastic box,
And finger my way through all the sweetest
Honeydew. I’m slightly chilled in my seat.

Long ago, in ancient China, Lao Tzu wrote if
We travel to a place we’ve only read about,
We’ll look forward even more on our way
Back, a sky full with clouds beyond compare.

About the Author

DeWitt Clinton is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and lives in Shorewood. Recent poems of his have appeared in The Last Call: The Anthology of Beer, Wine & Spirits Poetry, Santa Fe Literary Review, Verse-Virtual, The New Verse News, The Ekphrastic Review, Diaphanous Press, Meta/Phor(e)Play, and The Arabesques Review. He has a new collection of poems, At the End of the War (Kelsay Books, 2018), and another scheduled to arrive in 2020, a collection of poetic adaptations of Kenneth Rexroth’s 100 Poems from the Chinese.