Shelley Chernin at the Hessler Street Fair, 2012
photo by John Burroughs

Above It All

     Imagine you’re a girl on ten mile stilts…………
                                                  Nicky Mehta

I take great strides
carefully; it’s easy
to trip over
the Rockies or knock
Boeings to the ground.

Nearly stratospheric,
I fill my backpack
with sunblock. Never
visit the ozone layer
without it. I also carry

a red Duncan yo-yo
with an extra-long string
and astronomical
binoculars. Sometimes
it’s hard to find

loved ones without
magnification, even
on a clear day. Once
a man in Callicoon
tried to look

up my skirt, but
I was too high
for his aperture. Long
distance romance
is for the birds.

I watch them pecking
in their family nests,
built on tree tips
far below me. I see
specks on specks.

* * * * *

Shelley Chernin is a freelance writer and ukulele player. Her poems have appeared in Scrivener Creative Review, Rhapsoidia, Durable Goods, Big Bridge, What I Knew Before I Knew: Poems from the Pudding House Salon, the Heights Observer and the 2010 and 2011 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Contest anthologies. She was awarded 2nd Place in the 2011 Hessler Street Fair Poetry Contest, and the Akron Art Museum awarded her Honorable Mentions in their New Words Poetry Contest in 2009 and 2010. She is the author of The Vigil, published by Crisis Chronicles Press in 2012.

“Above It All” won an Honorable Mention in the Akron Art Museum’s New Words Poetry Contest in 2010, and was previously published at the Akron Art Museum’s website.