Devices (home)

What I Mean When I Say Goat Rope

by Jacalyn Shelley

  DEVICES Home Page  |  Contents  |  Authors  Big Data Valentine | Wordrunner eChapbooks  | March 2016  |      


My grandmother held her story of flight
between her fingers: This is how we face
and leap into a man’s arms for a pas de deux —
at full throttle. This is how we count on each other.
She taught strength before reliance — to fly,
and then to join. My fingers carry

the cold memory of a jet window at 30,000 feet,
transponder lights blinking, circling down,
circling into a spiral. Back home, gazing
at the fog drifting across the Blue Ridge, she laughed,
Someone was responsible for that goat rope:
Hundreds of things had to go right! Then,

she pointed to the thousands of starlings —
a murmuration of iridescent pirouettes       
inking the morning sky black.


end of story

© 2016, Jacalyn Shelley Big Data Valentine >>