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By John Sibley Williams

We didn’t know enough to be afraid
of ifs & buts & what some men do
at night out of boredom or under the
banners of their gods, but we knew
about clouds. How to re-story them,
draw new beasts for our new myths.
How to pinch out the rain between
thumb & forefinger & make things
green again. How to thunder. This
was between wars so our fathers for
the most part had no jobs but were
there, at least there in the sky, cirrus
or cumulus or more often that gray
featureless stratus suggesting storm.
We knew storm. We knew how the
inconsequential builds to fever pitch
before breaking down wire fences,
blowing the windows back inside,
rattling a house entire. & the peace
of its eye. We knew peace as one
part dream to ten parts waiting for it
to end. We didn’t know where our
yard ended & the sky began. How
one night soon the men would come
to pinch our fathers from the clouds.
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About John Sibley Williams

John Sibley Williams is the editor of two Northwest poetry anthologies and the author of nine collections, including Disinheritance and Controlled Hallucinations. An nine-time Pushcart nominee, John is the winner of numerous awards, including the Philip Booth Prize, American Literary Review Poetry Contest, Nancy D. Hargrove Editors' Prize, Confrontation Poetry Prize, and Vallum Award for Poetry. He serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and works as a literary agent. Previous publishing credits include: The Yale Review, Midwest Quarterly, Sycamore Review, Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, Poet Lore, Saranac Review, Atlanta Review, TriQuarterly, Columbia Poetry Review, Mid-American Review, Poetry Northwest, Third Coast, and various anthologies. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, twin infants, two cats, and a feisty Boston Terrier.

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