We Used to Watch the Skies

synanpses 4
by Marcus Clayton

We never saw the jets
as animals blossomed from ephemeral
clouds, divine shade
from a screaming sun.
There were walls around
our eyes that cut off
the power lines—muted buzzing
cloaked by swaying shrubs—
and we hid from all
rolling wheels and the children’s
shoes that trampled dirt,
defended our ears
like bears that nurse their cubs
from the rust of swing sets, the stomp
of joggers kicking
up playground sand.

The motherly grass beneath
our heels, beneath our backs
caressed our clothes, our skin,
caressed the silence we earned,
drowned the bustle with lullabies
that kept babble taciturn.

We used to watch the skies
without concern of living
beneath the comfortable sod’s
compassionate voice. But, these days
the lullabies are mum and it’s hard
not to squint when I watch
the skies where the animals have run
away and my hands cup my ears
with the world being so much
louder with you inside the grass.

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