At the Terminal
Remember how we took those separate flights imagining the worst: our plane gone down, our children young, alone? I’d leave an hour before you, wait to meet you at your gate, or you’d go first, arrive and rent a car, then meet me at the exit. In between, blue emptiness, our lives suspended where clouds stacked themselves between us: you on earth and I already gone. Or else I’d stand on solid ground and watch you disappear— my heart, my shining bird—a streak of light, a flash of wing, then nothing. Only one of us, one at a time. And whether I turned back to the concourse or pulled down the shade over the brilliant window, belted in above the tilting tarmac, I rehearsed this hour, ever nearer, when the planet would hold one or the other, and you’d watch— or I—the earth receding, or look up into the arc of absence, blinding space.
Copyright © 2016 Patricia Hooper. From Separate Flights (Tampa University Press, 2016) by Patricia Hooper. Used with permission of the author.
Patricia Hooper is the author of four poetry collections, including Separate Flights (University of Tampa Press, 2016) and Other Lives (Elizabeth Street Press, 1984).
Date Published: 2017-09-12
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/terminal