Looking Up

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

I. The Airport

 

The All-American Aerial Diner and Bar proudly boasts

Retro plane decals and red leather barstools

Filled with overworked business suits.

Next door, the Newsstand and Snacks promises

Forgotten souvenirs, two for $9.99, and overpriced trail mix.

 

Gate D18,

The redeeming stage.

 

I look up.

 

Act one: the embraces of arrival.

White ruffled socks inside pink princess shoes

That light up with each little step until Daddy whisks her waving arms

Up, up, and away.

 

Tight embraces, tender kisses,

Hopeful glances around the crowd,

And a couple “welcome home” signs.

 

Intermission  of announcements, nearly missed flights,

and a moment of indulgence in the self-proclaimed “World of Food.”

French fry dipped in vanilla soft serve

Salty and sweet. Cold and warm.

A lingering childhood favorite

 

White ruffles emerge from the tops of my socks

For just a second;

The truth is

My arms never seemed to reach quite high enough.

 

Looking down, my eyes meet chipped nail polish

In broken sandals.

But now, my arms are long enough.

 

Act two: the embraces of departure.

 

II. The Flight

 

“Please read the exit row information card.”

Exit row responsibility; stakes swell.

 

Book in lap, stranger to my right.

To my left, a slight view

Of my company of clouds.

 

The pink princess shoes squeeze their way onto my feet

Cotton candy engulfs the plane

 

I look up.

 

“Would you like anything to drink?”

Glistening white teeth outlined with red lipstick

Blonde hair perfected with hair spray

Crisp navy uniform and shiny silver wings

 

That was her.

 

The pink princess shoes are nowhere to be found.

And my company of clouds,

Now includes her.

 

I look up.

 

III. The Landing

 

Buckled seat belts and secured baggage

Prepared, frightened, composed, nervous

The spectrum of emotions on display on row 6

 

I look up.

 

Her eyes reach mine before I can look away

A glimmer of light reflects off her wings

The same ones sit amidst dresser-top clutter

 

They were hers.

 

I look up.

Transplanted back to the stage

Unprepared for my role, I run

 

Past hurried footsteps of pilots, businessmen, families

Places to go, people to see.

Past the automatic double doors.

 

I look up.