Part I: The Way Station

Aisles and lines

Check-ins, security

Bookstores and

Cold, tasteless food.

I sit down on an

Ugly, hard, plastic chair

And pull out an

Old dollar paperback,

Gaudy cover and all.

Surrounding me are

Tons of people of all

Shapes and sizes,

Rich men, poor men,

Beggarmen, thieves,

Big, small, dirty, clean,

Ugly, pretty, smart, dumb,

Random people thrown together

By fate and tickets;

Paths that cross once

And never cross again.

Out the wall of glass

To my left

Great white birds

Ascend into and

Descend from

The wild blue yonder

With a grace all their own.

There's no place like these ones;

Truly transient by nature,

Full of people coming and going

But never staying,

Just a place for people to grab a

Bite and wait

For their lives to start again.

I love these places,

Misfits of the world;

LAX, La Guardia, Kennedy, O'Hare.

They are truly

The world's way stations.


Part II: Up Into the Blue

My bag is never small enough

For the overhead;

Just another injustice imposed

On my luggage,

Along with the

Bag-smashing

Luggage handlers who

Always know

Which bag is mine

And send it out

Dead

Last.

After some pushing, shoving

And some bending

Of some natural laws,

I get the bag in and

Sit myself down

Next to a man who looks

Like he's ready to jump

From his seat

From sheer terror.

I pity him, as I've always pitied

Those like him.

The seat-belt sign lights up

With a ding

And the stewardess takes her place

At the front of her

Captive audience

And goes through the old rigamarole:

Fasten like this,

Help yourself before

You help others,

And it goes on.

I've heard this before; I'm buckled

Before she's even started.

I smirk at her, I know she'll

Be the one

Who'll manage to wake me up

With her peanut peddling

Just when I've managed

To fall asleep.

Finally, the engines kick in

And I settle back.

As we pick up speed, I grab

The airline magazine

And flip through but don't

Really read.

I watch as the man

In the window seat's

Eyes widen

As he stares

Out the window,

And I know

We're up.

Up with the birds,

Free as they are

For at least

A couple of hours.

It's a magic without magic,

A trick without mirrors.

Something thought

To be impossible

For centuries,

Something that so many

Great men

Have only dreamed of

Is done by tons of people

Every day.

We've come so far.

What an amazing world

We live in.