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Between the Devil and the Clear Blue Sky, a poem by Frances Klein






Between the Devil and the Clear Blue Sky

In the Tongass we had ten months a year

of the good stuff. At times it came even

from an empty sky, the perspiration

needling earthward from some source beyond

perception. A rain different entirely 

from the usual storm clouds that would stoop,

blackberry heavy, to lick the walls of

the Inside Passage. The kids who lived out

at Mud Bight, in the shanty-houses built 

on pilings, used to say about that rain

that it was the devil beating his wife,

the sound of it some precipitous thing

we didn’t yet know, standing then on the

cliff of childhood before we dove over.

Frances Klein is a high school English teacher. She was born and raised in Southeast Alaska, and taught in Bolivia and California before settling in Indianapolis with her husband and son. She has been published in So it Goes: The Literary Journal of the Vonnegut Memorial Library and Tupelo Press, among others. Readers can find more of her work at