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In the Hangar of Brisbee, Oklahoma, 1933

ISSUE:  Summer 1994
Sleepy, my father liked to lie on its floor and stare
through the August heat at the quivering air gathered above

as if it were the dome of heaven and he lay
at the top of the beneficent world dreaming of flight

—all of them together once more—Mom, Pop, and son
packed like bonbons into their seats, white scarves

flapping like birthday ribbons. How he’d pray, he told me,
that the pilot would take them up where the thin wind

makes the eyes tear and carry them all across the farm
where his parents were raised—two bucktoothed cousins

hauling milk between the barn and wagon. And there
they’d see the farmhouse and the chalky soil, sky rippling

like the Northern Lights over the quilt that unraveled
beyond the grey roofs of Brisbee and Clover City.

How they’d marvel at themselves, a family in flight,
and at their shadow, no larger it seemed, than the decimal

that brought the loan officer to their porch, than the pupil
still swimming in his milky eye.


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