Your little elbow
nudges the air

as the raindrops
line up and wait

to fall. I forget
who I was before

our windows floated
away revealing

our drawn-over
selves. Your shadow

kites above us
and whatever we say

forever hovers.
A tornado touches

gently down, black
lightning ignites

a butterfly’s skull.
Your fingers grip

the triggers of long
stemmed flowers

beneath the sky’s
television of rain

broadcasting two
smiling clouds.

Are they us? I ask.
They’re just clouds,

you say, then cut
yourself out.


Copyright © 2019 by Matt Rasmussen. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 13, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets

About this Poem

“I began this poem for an event in Minneapolis organized by Chris Martin called Rad Dads, where dads read poems about their kids. The poem has changed a bit since then, but it’s still based on this obsession to interpret my daughter’s drawings. While writing it I examined about a hundred of her artworks from the ages of two to five.”
Matt Rasmussen