Some people just wait
you know, just wait until the door is closing
to run up and say, “Wait for me
I’m boarding, too!”
on that plane to somewhere.
Sitting in the metal tube
feeling scared 30,000 feet in the air
going 150 miles an hour
adding your weight to the tons
that must stay aloft for hours.
Wondering if a bomb will go off
yet longing for adventure
(horseback, covered wagon, car, train)
those engines whining for hours
the invisible pilot coping with boredom,
fatigue. Smell the recycled air
enter the germy restroom
knock against your too-close neighbor
with his shoes off, his elbow hogging the entire arm-rest
his body too close
his breath too close
as if he could blow his way home
like the big, bad wolf blowing the house down
around the little piggies
eating up meals in boxes.
(Drink water! Avoid alcohol!)
Wrap yourself in the tissue-thin
blankets, tiny pillow at your back,
eat with the plastic
fork the hot risotto or cold chicken.
Stuff yourself with everything
remotely edible (cheese, crackers, chocolate)
but enjoy the hot towelete
handed you with a metal tong
by the tired attendant
coping with swollen ankles
and jet lag and seniority battles.
Don’t forget you can
track your flight on the screen
count down the minutes elapsing
watch another movie in the darkness
(Casablanca, Everest, Grumpy Old Men)
the blinds pulled down against the light
don’t stand and look down the aisle
at the faces staring at you.
Do stand up every hour
and stretch by your seat
that precious space is yours
until you set down on that runway
the jolt of earth embracing you
now rolling down the asphalt
disoriented but sensing safety
in your bones
you have come home.
FEWalls March 25, 2016