Poem Beginning with a Sentence from Laura Ingalls Wilder
(for Kim Piper Hiatt)
She thought to herself, This is now. The sun on the sleeve
of her right arm, the man to her left looking at news on his phone,
his hands and jaw not the hands and jaw of anyone she knew.
She supposed that she was not the only person to ever decline
the full body x-ray scan at the Ft. Lauderdale airport, only
to be given the full body pat down, only to pretend it
was some sort of healing ritual toning her beneficent energies.
But then again, maybe she was. Sitting on a plane on an abundantly
sunny day eating a granola bar and waiting for some minor repair
to the skin of the plane before she could fly back to a less sunny place--
what's that a sign for? What about a woman in a bright yellow vest
walking slowly under the wing of the next airplane carrying two full
(of what?) shopping bags? Is the vest woman thinking, "This is now?"
Will she too go home after several more hours, take off her damn
brassiere, and begin to figure it out, the next move? Once there,
will she see the jaw and hands of a man she knows well? Or, if she
doesn't know him well, a man who is at least somehow inscrutably familiar?