Monday, March 29, 2010

Two Poems

Going Down?

“We should be all right,” the pilot droned.
That raised an eyebrow. “Should”?
Seatbelt signs stayed lit, as the plane
lurched and swayed,
a small toy batted by winds.
I tucked my hand in the crook of Dave’s arm,
glad of his warm skin and his presence,
glad of the life we’d been given together,
hoping this night meant not
sorrow for our kids.

We laughed with the man in seat 21C.
He was broad and bald and jolly.
We laughed, the three of us,
at sitting together and not
with the gum-snapping
blond in 17B
who’d bitched and whined at
our flight’s delay.
“Won’t she be pissed if we go down,”
the fat man said.
And we laughed.

A Toast to Appearances

Alone at his table across the restaurant,
he smiles at our shrieks and guffaws.
He leans slightly forward
to better hear the joke
and maybe thinks back
to past raucous meals--
to the teasing and laughter of children,
to his wife, then seated beside him.

At our table, over pasta and fish,
we are carefree and happy,
it would appear.
But we were drawn to each other,
supplicants seeking comfort, as
a son, a husband and a wife are sick.
Hours have passed in waiting rooms
for news too often grim.
And so, with food and wine and friends,
together, we shoulder hard times.

We lift our glasses to the blessing of health,
and beam and laugh in company.
In his tweed jacket, seated by the door,
that is all the old man can see.
He lifts his glass, nods our way,
and smiles his toast to our joy.

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