Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Vacation

By
Rita Dove






I love the hour before takeoff, 
that stretch of no time, no home
but the gray vinyl seats linked like
unfolding paper dolls. Soon we shall
be summoned to the gate, soon enough 
there’ll be the clumsy procedure of row numbers
and perforated stubs—but for now
I can look at these ragtag nuclear families 
with their cooing and bickering
or the heeled bachelorette trying 
to ignore a baby’s wail and the baby’s 
exhausted mother waiting to be called up early
while the athlete, one monstrous hand
asleep on his duffel bag, listens,
perched like a seal trained for the plunge. 
Even the lone executive
who has wandered this far into summer 
with his lasered itinerary, briefcase
knocking his knees—even he 
has worked for the pleasure of bearing 
no more than a scrap of himself
into this hall. He’ll dine out, she’ll sleep late,
they’ll let the sun burn them happy all morning
--a little hope, a little whimsy 
before the loudspeaker blurts
and we leap up to become
Flight 828, now boarding at Gate 17.


Credits:  This poem can also be found at Poets.org.  Painting by Georgia O'Keeffe.

No comments:

Post a Comment

No Way Madame Bovary

By Clive James The first thing to say about Madame Bovary is that it's a terrific story. Other comparably great and famous novels...