Nov 162012

by Zan Bockes


The town you leave behind

spins beneath this

roaring bird.  Landmarks

you passed on foot

dwindle to vaguely familiar




houses and churches

pattern the places

you once walked.  They fade

now to a circuit board

sloping toward

mountains, land’s

dry suggestion


into the fog of clouds.

At your elbow

warm air buffets the window–

a surging rise

then fall

of uneven wind.


The stewardess leaps

to serve, guiding

her cart down the narrow

aisle.  She offers

a bag of peanuts

with a manicured flourish,

thin napkin supporting

the delicate package.


At 30,000 feet

peanuts are a miracle.  

You nibble them

one by succulent one,

their taste resonant with memory–

the circus, the county fair,

the movie you saw

on your first date,

the face you can’t remember–                          

these tender recollections

spread across your tongue

with the fullness of life                                                    

on solid ground.


But there is always this dark

fragility:  You hang

above so much within this silver

shell, rushing into daylight with

a suddenness happening

again and again.


Then they are gone.

You leave the empty bag

on the little napkin.

Your tight, cherished

space shrinks as the air

expands, splitting

to allow your passage

across this sky

where sustenance

is a gift,


a privilege.