Meg Files, from Tucson AZ, recently sent us this poem that she wrote for her father’s memorial service.
“I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now”
— Joni Mitchell
The sky is full of water unseen
without clouds. When droplets join
droplets, gravity makes rain.
Our father loved clouds. Look.
That’s a bear. And now it’s opening
its mouth, and now it’s a dog.
My sixth-grade science project
was clouds, and I remember
Dad always loved them. My poster
described the types, in lovely
words—cirrus, cumulus, stratus—
but now I know they blacken and
morph into nothing that can
be classified. What else
did our father see—a dairy cow,
a cavalry horse, an elephant?
He woke his daughter at dawn
to photograph the sunrise in her pj’s.
The sky is not above us—we live
within it. The sky vibrates here
in the waning light, and our tears
are rain, and clouds quilt the sky.
Father, in their moods
I see your countenance,
the milk-streaked sky, the luminous
towers, the watercolor sunset.
What are the creatures
in your clouds now? You, who
taught us to look to the sky,
now we know the flood
of light in darkness, that glory.
—for Harold Stever Bryan
© Meg Files 2016