A few remaining members from your flying circus
airshow share memories about you and themselves.
Wonder what you felt standing on the bottom wing of a biplane,
balancing with arms outstretched, somersaulting untethered. I remember
when I was a child hearing gasps, cheers, applause from the stands.
After the memorial, we all eat pieces of your favorite chocolate
cherry soul cake, with a biplane taking off in red and blue goo. Then
Uncle Charles and I board his two-seater. I had gently shaken your cremains
out of a flowered Asian urn onto a long silky salmon-colored scarf,
rolling it up, with a little slit at the top, so I slipped my fingers through
to hold it. I remember you jumping off while delaying opening
a parachute ’til seconds before you might have pounded into the ground.
As we gained enough altitude I leaned out the window, slowly unfurling the scarf,
your bones and flesh puffing out in white streams, your spirit a prolonged contrail.
Cassandra McGovern writes poetry and memoir. Her memoirs have been published in several literary journals, including The Massachusetts Review, and in the forthcoming issue of online OxMag. Cassandra’s poems have been published in two anthology collections, Five Poets Write about Aging, Illness, and Mortality and Fresh Pipes. In July 2015, she was a finalist at Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award through Chicago’s Guild Literary Complex. Recent poems have been published in Olentangy Review and forthcoming in Not Very Quiet’s inaugural September issue.