A chance so close to zero, zero’s a baby
pool shoved against your screen door
thirty-six thousand feet below this airplane
where a preschooler chokes on a pretzel.
Every passenger stands, clutching
their necks as the mother scrapes her finger
down the girl’s throat. “You’re living in despair,”
the psychiatrist said back home. Long after
she forgets she once stopped breathing,
the girl asks if a plane ever falls from the sky.
“Sometimes it does,” you say. “Sometimes it does.”
One in eleven million. And when she says,
“They’ll catch us, the yellow trees,” you see
the start of a ginkgo tunnel: You haven’t lost
a baby. You go to work, sell tires, rinse
your feet at dusk in your makeshift plastic
pond, where soon all the suns will float:
the bright petals you won’t win, but find.
Copyright © 2018 Kristin Robertson. Reprinted with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Autumn 2018.