OF CLEAN AIRPORTS AND DAMP KERCHIEFS
Indecisive figure on the sidewalk,/ head tilted one way, body tilted the other: bird/ listening for the coming of rain the same way/ I feel the tug,…warning of weather/even as the sun pours through and through.---Luisa A. Igloria
When the final call was made
for you to board the last plane
to places unknown, unexplained,
I remained at the gate hoping
you would look back, smile, too,
and come running back for the
kerchief you left on the bench.
You would need it to blow your
nose and maybe dry your eyes.
But you wrote me years later
that I did not even look at your
direction, my head tilted away,
or I could have seen your pleading
arms gripping those of my tittering
children, wildly agog by a maiden
journey on a real plane–so much
grander than the paper ones I
made them when the last story
was simply not enough to lull them
to a slumber that I am sure would
find them flying through clouds and
the searing sun, and the sparrows,
and the cherubims that guarded
them jealously like you must have,
before the final cut that came,
and cut cleanly. I did not want to say
goodbye. I looked at the airport
clock. I wanted desperately to say
Come back, come home. Come home!
You were no longer looking, the line
was moving, and I could no longer see
anyone of you through my tears.
Airports are frightening that way.
—Albert B. Casuga