Tropospheric

By Claire Bateman

For all the times
we’ve checked the weather,

why won’t it reciprocate,
inquiring into our condition,
our immediate and long-term forecasts?

Is it oblivious, incurious,
self-absorbed?

Maybe it can’t distinguish us
from other natural features—
the wind gap, the echo hall.

Maybe it can’t perceive us,
not even as spaces
between the spaces,

though its least breath is epic,
having passed through
each of us

as we labor to articulate
all that we’re determined
to withhold.


Claire Bateman is the author of WONDERS OF THE INVISIBLE WORLD forthcoming from 42 Miles Books, and eight other poetry books. She has been awarded Fellowships from the NEA, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and has received the New Millennium Writing Award (twice) and two Pushcart Prizes. She has taught at the Greenville Fine Arts Center, Clemson University and various conferences, including Bread Loaf and the Bloch Island Poetry Fesitval. She is also a visual artist.

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