today’s sky is the same sky
into which my dad once threw
high fly balls, small pink
rubber dime-store buys – that I
would run under and cradle proudly
at the bottom of their descent

the same sky I gazed at over the ocean
when my mom rubbed lotion over my back
to protect me from the sun at the beach,
eating scrambled egg sandwiches tucked
in tin-foil, seasoned with salt and pepper
and finer grains of wind-blown sand

(how small I must have been to be standing upright
while she sat on her towel, still able to reach
my shoulders and neck)

the sky we saw when flat on our backs
on the big rocks of Central Park,
where kids still float boats on the reflecting pool,
not far from Alice, Mad Hatter, and White Rabbit, opposite
Hans Christian Andersen, bronzed, reading his tale

clear and blue as the dome over the southern tip of Manhattan,
where Liberty’s torch burned for those coming through Ellis Island,
pick a day, pick a year

I want this to be the prototype,
the model, the absolute reference,
for the last sky I ever see

Chagall 2020