my mom told us to watch for any patch of blue the size of a man’s pants-- a tell-tale sign of a change in weather.
Our questions about proportion she ignored: how wide or tall a man, whether the denim portal should be
the size of dad’s Levis on a clothesline, breakdancing between our spot in the grass and the baskless sky--
or whether a pair of dungarees flapping after a Cessna might be enough. This morning my friend said The skies
over Beijing cleared at the pandemic’s height. The city’s young tiled Instagram in blue squares. She heard the story
commuting through rain. Maybe before the plague, people living in that place could not imagine heaven without smog.
. . .
How lucky I have been, and how oblivious: scaling for size the jeans I’ve sought between clouds, wondering whether shape mattered too: would an unsplit patch of blue--a towel or a flag--also do? Or did the harbinger need his gray inseam?
Jane Zwart teaches at Calvin University, where she is also the co-director of the Calvin Center for Faith & Writing. Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, and Poetry, as well as other journals and magazines.