Air Show: F-16s above Cleveland RSS

Air Show: F-16s above Cleveland

14 April, 2015: Air Show: F-16s above Cleveland


by Mary Quade
Air Show: F-16s above Cleveland
Clearly, we are part of the performance, slowing our
cars on the freeway, errands interrupted
like dull dreams of waking, taking a shower,
interrupted by the true alarm. The solo jets
low above, turning into some trick, some loop or roll
we can’t see through the towers of downtown —
just the roar chasing the flash of plane,
catching it overhead. Then the diamond of jets
needling through smokestacks, wing to wing, using principles of trust
I don’t understand, but I understand this —
not pilot or engine or maneuver —
the trick here is panic, and I play along — Dear whomever:

spare this city, slow to recover, our hazy old sky.
Spare our lives awaiting attack. Spare our somnambulant cars.

“Air Show: F-16s above Cleveland” by Mary Quade, from Guide to Native Beasts. Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2004. Used by permission of the author.

Mary Quade is the author of Guide to Native Beasts (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2004). She has received three Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awards for both poetry and creative nonfiction. She lives in Madison and teaches creative writing at Hiram College.


Try a different way to write.

Today, write a poem about anything you want, but if you usually draft on computer, handwrite your first draft, and if you usually draft by hand, draft on the computer, and if you do both, then draft the poem using the hand you usually do not use for writing.

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READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.