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.”
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
If I was in so much trouble, why the request
for my autograph?