Odd that I’d remember flying alone
under a summer ceiling of benign cumulus
as a silent time. There was always
the snarl of the old Lycoming
that made talk impossible, even if there’d been
someone else along.

Below, a stitched and measured Midwest world
tilted when I banked, fell away
in a climb. I was a kitten on a rug, pouncing
on the elements in my J3 Cub, wings and rudder
like flung-out thoughts of lift and motion.

Often I’d dip a wingtip through a cloud,
not a big one—too well trained for that—
but bigger than a wisp, just to see
what it looked like sliced in half.

And I had moments
in this silent towering sky
when I simply looked around,
suddenly abashed
as if I’d wandered into
a wealthy neighbor’s private realm.

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