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Click the play button below to listen to Angela Voras-Hills read
“My Father Not the Sky.”

		My dad used to wake us up at 5 AM on Sundays
		with the vacuum cleaner, saying, Get out of bed,
		the day is wasting, and then he’d be asleep on the couch

		by nine, just as the sun began to lift its head
		over the houses. I have since seen the sky
		from so many places, and it never looks

		like the one I watched for tornadoes
		when the sirens rang. Near the ocean, clouds
		expand as they move, choking the blue

		with their bounding, but over the shorn
		field of corn—nearby marsh, chorus of red-
		winged blackbirds—clouds stretch, linger, roll.

		This summer my dad will ride to Sturgis,
		the sky out West broader than most. Each
		year he waits until my birthday to pull

		his Harley from storage, when the threat
		of snow has passed and rain has finally washed
		the salt from the roads, but in recent years it has snowed

		well past my birthday, flakes blundering in,
		white creeping into May, covering the face
		of every living thing trying to emerge

		from the earth. My dad was never as big
		as the sky to me, and I wonder if I ever
		wanted to marry him, the way my daughter

		tells my husband they will marry. When I was
		five, I looked off the balcony of my aunt’s house,
		and he was below in the Bonneville’s driver’s seat

		lifting a springer-spaniel puppy, raising
		its little paw in a wave to me. Maybe then?
		Sure, he was a presence, a mood shifting

		above us, but he was mostly elemental:
		a gravel path, a worn road, something stable
		burning the soles of my feet.