If I Were a Cloud
by Jacqueline Jules

If I were a cloud
I’d swirl and twist
a shimmery ribbon
above your head.

I’d surprise you
with a bunny or a bird,
changing shapes
quicker than a blink.

If I were a cloud,
I’d swallow raindrops
and grow as large
as a mountain.

I’d spread out
in rolling white hills,
romping and stomping
across the sky.

If I were a cloud,
I’d paint myself pink
just to tickle you
twice a day.

If I were a cloud,
I’d lift you in my arms
and take you flying with me.

IMAGE: “The Pink Cloud” by Henri-Edmond Cross (1896).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I teach poetry workshops, and one of the exercises I present is an “If I” poem. Writers of all ages are inspired by this simple suggestion to imagine themselves as a different entity. “If I Were a Cloud” is the model I show my students as an introduction to this assignment. I chose this subject because watching clouds is not only a joy but a consolation for me. Their floating beauty in the sky often lifts my spirits.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jacqueline Jules is the author of the poetry chapbooks, Field Trip to the Museum (Finishing Line Press) and Stronger Than Cleopatra (ELJ Publications). Her work has appeared in over 100 publications, including Inkwell, Killing the Angel, Soundings Review, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Gargoyle, Potomac Review, Imitation Fruit, Calyx, The Broadkill Review, and Pirene’s Fountain. Visit her online at, which lists her 35 books for young readers, including the Zapato Power series and Never Say a Mean Word Again.

PHOTO: The author, July 2013, National Harbor, Washington, D. C., photo by her husband.