Since 9/11: Poetry

By Anita Tanner


I hear them overhead—

jets’ Doppler motors,

small thunders sucking up

sectors of sky.

I pause, listening

for their reassurance,

flight paths going somewhere

and returning

in crisscross pattern

thrumming across the blue beyond.

My body vibrates

with the faint knocking

of photos on the wall,

blood pulsing in my temples,

the sound amplified in my ears.

They go and come

like far-off melodies

or old love songs from memory.


I imagine passengers seated,

cups of iced liquid on trays,

open books in hand,

laptops propped,

arched fingers on a keyboard.

Shoulder to shoulder they fly

like standing still,

the vacant aisles paths

over an open field, all of them

pinioned with hope

of arrival.

Beneath the brow of plane,

two seated at the controls

behind angled glass,

and from where I gaze upward

every airborne plane

becomes a small cross

against a clear and open sky.


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