First flight

FIRST FLIGHT – by Helga Kidder

. . . and in its shadow
we know one another

~ W. S. Merwin “The Rock”

Married one week, mid-air between
continents, hunger for anything new
quivered inside me like a leaf, unfurling.

The sky February blue.
Behind me a Black Forest village,
mother, and nosy neighbors.
In front of me a town in Tennessee
full of strangers speaking
in a strange language.

Below, ice floes on the ocean,
steaming like mother’s kettle boiling
as the sun forced its way down.

I sat next to my new husband,
confident in a herringbone suit
mother helped pick out,
my white sling-backs dared
the ‘not before Easter’ rule.

We talked about our future,
children, the two-bedroom apartment
with bathroom waiting for us.
Among invisible stars we spoke
without shadows between our words.

I couldn’t know fourteen years later,
I would trip over nutshells and twigs
scattered on the driveway
after strong winds shook trees,
leaving a taste of rain and divorce in the air.

Descending through clouds
this flight propelled me
into a new name, a new language,
a woman I would learn to be.

Image Credit: Boeing 747 sunset landing wallpaper (wallup.net)

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