In Absentia 2


In Absentia


 At the Airport


It’s dark when we leave the car in the car park.
You unload your suitcase and wheel it away.
Dawn dawdles and you’ll see its very first spark,

high in the sky, like turkey vultures who play
with fire from old gods and return to earth,
wings aflame. People no longer kneel and pray

for fair winds and fine weather. There is a dearth
of hands conjoined in prayer. Fingers clasp books, lap
-tops, scans, photo IDs, seat choice, proof of birth …

nobody smiles, nobody laughs. It’s a crap
-shoot, really, each flight, dice rolling as to who
sits next to who(m). Can anyone tell which chap

will pull out a knife or gun and threaten to
kill someone if rough orders are disobeyed.
It wasn’t like this before: jungle law, zoo

-keepers needed to keep order, guns displayed
by security guards who look grim and show
their teeth, gritting them tight as if on parade,

as if they wanted someone to help them grade
each passenger, each situation, dogs low
-slung sniff at you when you board, and you afraid
your fear will show. Come back my love. Don’t go.


5 thoughts on “In Absentia 2

    • Let’s say she has left me, with my blessing, to visit our daughter and our grand-daughter for Thanksgiving. Poetically, I am devastated. Physically, I’m worn out: I forget how much energy the house takes. Educationally, I am being house-trained by the cat. We won’t dwell for too long on this last item.


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