Between San Gabriel and Tehachapi | Jake Sheff

Between San Gabriel and Tehachapi | Jake Sheff

I pushed my daughter on the swing into
The chance we’d live forever. It was fall.
Church bells rang adroitly out beyond
The pale, where all the geese had never been;
Too weird for them. The autumn air, in two,

Was in full swing; she said to never stop.
The time was 10 o’clock, when sky is set
In blue, except a yellow spot. (The bin of Never,
Or Once Upon A Time, was surely emptied
There.) I pushed my daughter on the swing into

The cloud of 10:01, where endings are
All done. She waved at me and smiled when she
Was three upon that swing; the emptied sun,
The honking geese and pond and playground all
But vanished as a plane flew overhead.

The infinitely near, and wood chips at my feet,
Were pushing me into the swing of things
Abruptly, and without their steepled poles, beyond
The airport hangars and the pronghorns shot
Away, into the new November’s palo verde.


Jake Sheff is a captain and pediatrician in the US Air Force, married to a Corri whom he produced a modern Maddie with. They, in turn, were adopted by four animals. Home is currently Southern California. Poems of Jake’s are featured or forthcoming in Marathon Literary Review, Jet Fuel Review, Foliate Oak and elsewhere. A chapbook of his was published, Looting Versailles, (Alabaster Leaves Publishing). He considers life an impossible sit-up, but plausible. Read an interview with him on Splinter Generation.