night before I fly
Sleep will not come
109 days after 3 planes went down in history,
5 days after the man on the plane was caught
With bombs in his shoes.
I think, "Am I ready to die?"
spins a full and dangerous
Air current above my head.
My insecurities are there, weeping fresh tears.
My bluffs are calling themselves,
My courage is there, trying to grip a thread
Pretending to be a rope.
bed heats up with my mental exertions.
And I take off my nightgown.
Naked, I lie in an unfamiliar room.
I reach through my body to calm my mind,
But the temporal spasm shakes no peace
Down around me,
No comforting blanket of sleep.
bag, my coat, then the shoes
Pass through to the other side.
I join them in the search for a nation's peace.
Lifting my arms in a protective, yet submissive pose,
I allow my person to give up its secrets,
Thinking how much is really hidden.
ahead of me retrieves her shoes,
Doesn't bother to put them on, racing up
The escalator in her stocking feet
To catch a plane, and be caught in air.
news channel in the airport lounge
Speaks in circles of the hunt.
Most everyone waits with one wary eye
On the TV set, as if trying to pinpoint
location of that face, lock it forever
In a box of recycled footage.
The other eye takes in the sunlight glinting
Off the wings of the planes as they land.
is nothing like the rush you feel
When the plane ascends into the sky.
Within seconds your whole frame of reference
Is gone and anything seems possible.
stands of trees follow the river,
Branch out in delicate lines across fields.
It looks like hair on a body.
"Maybe in the future our hair will be photosynthetic,
Creating oxygen for us to breathe." I say.
the topography of the land
With the eye of an eagle,
Searching for the truth of its existence
In the way the river flows, has its way,
As it moves and renews itself,
Nearly regardless of human endeavor.
eyes are full of this harmony
And maybe the woman behind me
Sees it too as she sleeps, hangs
Tight to the eagle's back, trusting,
that night, after it happened.
I was at work, and I knew those prayer vigils
Would be going on all over the country.
At 8:30 PM, I dropped my head, clearing my mind.
It was like I stuck a toe into a swiftly moving river,
And was swept away by an energy,
So huge, so powerful, it could only be LOVE.
I have to say that this love,
It was there for anybody to tap into.
I mean anybody, no questions asked.
woman smiles in her sleep,
Her head bumping gently against the window,
As the wheels take on the ground.
copyright 2001 Julie Russell-Steuart
All Rights Reserved