sky, fallen

Some days, he writes, my days are upside down.  Like this.  The sky he shot slips from the envelope I had opened the way he taught: slit the skinny side and blow.

He’s tethered now, my father, to the flow of oxygen delivered from a pump via flexible tubing running along stairs and hallways, wrapping around chair legs. Every day he heads out to check on what we’ve come to call his river. Chocolate lab on a leather leash,  camera secured around his neck, warm gloves and hat. My mother by his side.

Some poets tell us the sky is a pond of water. Others write: water is sky, fallen.

Look, I announce to a friend, another photo from my dad. We’ve been sitting at my kitchen table, reading Facebook status updates in snippets to each other. No fair to read the entire status–just lift a few key words:

” . . . raised to the power of music . . .”

Nothing like putting your foot into your rainbow . . .”

” . . . he overlooked the sun . . .”

” . . . I overshot the sky . . .”

He reaches across the table for the photo. Tomorrow, I’ll slide it inside a frame my father made from ruined juniper on my sister’s farm. Which is it? I ask: Sky as water, or water as fallen sky?

Whatever spills your spirit, he replied, turning the photo right-side up, which for me was wrong-side down.


About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website:

12 responses to “sky, fallen

  1. These words are a transfusion of life, I swear they route through me. Wonderful, truly wonderful.

    Please never ever stop.

    Best. Neil

  2. Kerry

    fantastic!…will remember that one for shrr! hope your dads spirit is spilling easy these days.

  3. michele

    ahhh, your dad. the photo. the whole upside. down. of us.
    yes, yes, yes. and, of course, I want it. the photo. well, y’know, I want it all.
    whatever spills the spirit. bless e d. we are.

    • redmitten


      every time you and i meet, you show me the other side of poetry. the rest of what i couldn’t say. “the whole upside. down. of us”. yes.

  4. beautiful. part of why I blog is to see a new piece of the world every day, but to have someone tailoring something especially for you is a perfect gift.

  5. Love this, especially with the photo. So enjoyed the post.

and then you said:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 51 other followers

%d bloggers like this: