ABOVE US ONLY SKY
ABOVE US, ONLY SKY
On summer days
kids point to clouds –
fiery dragons and sleeping bears,
perhaps a dog chasing a butterfly.
Far off, along the horizon,
the sky sometimes makes jagged,
purple clouds, mountain majesties,
the only mountains we see in Kansas.
Then October’s long barrels
of gunmetal gray roll in from the northwest –
these clouds telegraph cold wind before we feel it.
December’s clouds break into pieces,
and fall into every pocket, sparkling white.
Puffy clouds, straight clouds, feather clouds,
reckless, flying-under-the-influence clouds,
pre-dawn arrivals, cheeky clouds
that block our #%@# lunar eclipse.
We get them all.
Spring, the season of rage and rapture,
brings us heavenly hosts, holy ghosts,
and come-to-Jesus clouds.
From a green sky, funnels scrape
the plate of earth, leaving
only bones behind.
No sailors here, so the red at night is the
farmer’s delight – our sky a color wheel
spinning out black clouds, white clouds,
Petal pink and aqua blue rise with the sun,
lavender and tangerine shoot up the evening sky.
At the hand of these Kansas billows we are beaten
by hail the size of a fist, spit on with sleet,
drowned by the rain, scarred by lightning.
Here on the open prairie we are shockingly vulnerable,
our underbellies bared to the sky.
There’s no intercession on our behalf,
nowhere to hide.
And the clouds sneak a sly smile.
~ by Cheryl Unruh