Airspace in Wartime

Paul Jaskunas

(Maryland)

Amid clouds claimed by no king,
my boy sketches the sky.

Below, Sweden slouches southward.
To the east, artillery barks at the wind.

In national archives, scholars amend
the long-told fiction of nations.

Flags snap to attention
as armies weep to their anthems.

Secretive stags dash across state lines.
Not even satellites see them.

Soon we will land in a country with a name,
borders, memorials, uncountable graves.

For now, we soar over unmapped waves
rumpling the surface of a patrolled sea.

Some vision spills from my son’s pencil.
His sky fits on an airplane napkin –

a patch of cloud-fold and light,
a miniature flag of peace.

Paul Jaskunas

is a

Guest Contributor for Panorama.

Paul Jaskunas is the author of the novel Hidden (Free Press), which won the Friends of American Writers Award and of two books forthcoming next year: The Atlas of Remedies (fiction, Stillhouse Press) and The News from Norway (poetry, Finishing Line Press). He is on the faculty at the Maryland Institute College of Art, where he edits Full Bleed, an annual journal of art and literature.

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