Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


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.

Credit


Copyright © 2016 Patricia Hooper. From Separate Flights (Tampa University Press, 2016) by Patricia Hooper. Used with permission of the author.

Author


Patricia Hooper

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