Rattling the Slats

Rattling the Slats

for Elinor Smith

 

There was only one way to put this clown in his place,

once and for all.I would fly under not one, but all four,

of the East River bridges.”

 

Elinor Smith

Airspace choked by a yacht,

shortened by a mickle of cables and blocks

suspended mid-span from the Queensboro.

Su fing through, ten feet above the East River,

spotted Dean Oliver’s scarf waving, cameras rolling.

Williamsburg was next, Uncle Harry’s advice

Kept just above stalling speed, rocked my Waco

from side to salute,

Fox’s Movietone crew, following suit.

Two down two to go!

The Manhattan was next, another film crew.

I added an arm wave to waggled wings, cockpit sure.

That soggy dog from the Midwest would be losing

his bet this day. Lindy’s handshake warm in my memory.

There was only one way through, rudder and stick hard rode,

my trip sideways and past Lady Liberty.

Close as Waco’s wings.

Approaching the Brooklyn, a nightmare

with fins, tanker on one side, Navy destroyer on the left.

a sea of open mouthed white hats in my wake. Finished.

Summoned by Mayor Jimmy Walker

License 3178, was on the line. Major Deegan

wanted reprimand.

If I was in so much trouble, why the request

for my autograph?

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