Gregory Pardlo: Willow Grove, Philadelphia
from “Philadelphia, Negro”
Alien-faced patriot in my father’s mirrored aviators
that reflected a mind full of cloud
keloids, the contrails of Blue Angels in formation
miles above the campered fields of Willow Grove
where I heard them clear as construction paper slowly
tearing as they plumbed close enough I could nearly see
flyboys saluting the tiny flag I shook in their wakes.
I visored back with pride, sitting aloft dad’s shoulders,
my salute a reflex ebbing toward ground crews in jumpsuits
executing orchestral movements with light….