My friend is flying today and this poem was stimulated by her words:
She said, “I’m flying today, say a prayer for me.”
The words in themselves were not that unusual
but I sensed a fear I never heard in her voice before.
My friend, an international citizen, travels
around the globe four or five times a year.
She travels from Europe to New York,
New York to California, and back again.
Ensconced in first class beyond the discomfort
and crowds of coach she has everything
from gourmet meals to hot towels upon arrival.
Her words reveal a crack in
her bravado and all her experience
can’t hide that she is now afraid.
Maybe the news of Air France
falling from the sky or terrorist
becoming more aggressive on the ground,
perhaps her knees hurt more than they used to,
or the fact her mother is closer to death
whatever the reason, she sounded vulnerable.
She is aging and needs to settle down
in a safe place where the familiar surrounds her.
A cappuccino or red wine, family and friends
her favorite chair with her husband close by.
Loving the life she once led but letting it go,
allowing time to unfold more slowly
but never having to go up in the air again.