“Tinged,” by Alison McBain

Aug 20th, 2017 | By | Category: Poetry

I hate to argue with you,
but I must say the sky is not blue.
It is studded by blemishes—
clouds smeared by the oily effervescence
of sunrises, sunsets,
bisected by rainbows,
vivisected by the worm-trails of airplanes.
Half the time
it is blackish,
covered with shining whiteheads
popping and reforming
like the face of a teenage chocoholic.
No, the sky is not blue
nor black
nor grey when rain threatens
(don’t let me say shades of grey, for it is far too tame for that).

If marketing the sky, I’d call it a feature,
but I’m afraid no one would buy
an unnamable product,
so it would sit on the shelf
gathering dust
until the next new thing breezed in
and someone dumped it in the dustbin
or sold it to the discount store
down the street
and an old lady bought it for 99 cents
even though she didn’t know quite what to do with it,
a slightly shabby,
not quite new
puzzle of a thing.
Her cat would sleep on it
(cats, perhaps—or maybe a small Pomeranian)
and it would get covered in fur,
rolled up in a corner
and forgotten.


After her nomadic twenties, Alison McBain settled in Connecticut, where she is raising three girls and her husband. She is an award-winning author with more than sixty short stories and poems published, including work in Litro, The Airgonaut, and FLAPPERHOUSE. When not writing, she practices origami meditation and draws all over the walls of her house with the enthusiastic help of her kids.

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