Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A Poem I did not write about the joys of flying

"Vancouver to Edmonton" by Barbara Bloom, from On the Water Meridian © Hummingbird Press, 2007. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

Vancouver to Edmonton

Some of the passengers read; others sleep.
Beside me, my husband fills in the squares of his crossword—
word after word taking shape
as fast as he can write. No one
looks out the windows; even the children
are busy doing something else.

But outside, it's like we're in heaven,
with the puffy white clouds,
sun playing along the surface
so bright it's almost impossible to look,
but I look anyway. Then the clouds
give way to a glacial lake,
the aquamarine of a tropical ocean,
then snowfields,
sharp-sided peaks,
and forests so green they are almost black.

The man on the aisle seat
folds up his newspaper. My husband
adds another word
before closing his book.
An announcement comes on
to set our watches ahead an hour.
The toy fields, houses, and barns
take on more reality
as we begin our descent.
There's a green tractor! A barn with a red roof,
cows and horses grazing together. A dog
running out to meet a car.

Whether we were in heaven or not up there
seems beside the point now, as the plane lowers
over fields and highways,
and bumps down on the runway.
Soon we will be rushing out to hail cabs
or scanning the crowds in the airport
for the one familiar face, and the day
will push us forward, with its traffic,
its Mountain Time, its ordinary joys.

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