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Rainbows--Up in the Air
Rainbow From My Backyard
Up In the Air
Above the clouds, the sun is pure.
Out the window, far below,
A rainbow floats on the sea of clouds.
No pot of gold; indeed, no end.
A rainbow is a perfect circle.
Our plane, a tiny shadow;
Appearing in its center.
How Did This Poem Come About?
When I was a child, I heard many stories from my father about his own youthful adventures. When he was a young man in his 20's, he took flying lessons. He told of how, when you are in an airplane and see a rainbow, you see it as it really is: not an arc, but a full circle, and that the shadow of the plane will be in the center of that circle.
Many years later, while accompanying my daughter to college, we did see a rainbow, and I had to stand up, look out the window and see for myself. This brought the attention of the stewardess, telling me to please sit and fasten my seat belt, as we were on landing approach.
I acknowledged her instruction, and told her I would sit down presently, but that I just had to see for myself that phenomenon about which I'd heard while growing up.
I still puzzle about why this is, that the plane's shadow should land dead center, rather than off to one side or the other.
I only regret that I did not have my camera handy to take a photo and prove it.
This poem was originally written in 1996; I made a minor edit in February of 2018.
© 2010 Liz Elias