Gate 26. Seat 8A. Group 1.
Happy to be headed back
to her friends in Cambridge,
she boards. Stows her bag
beneath the seat. Settles in.
After a month of family
gatherings and global mayhem,
the long flight to Boston
will be the break she needs.
As passengers file down the aisle,
she relaxes, shifts her thoughts
to her new apartment, the cat
she reluctantly left with friends,
her classes for this spring.
Buckling her seat belt,
she closes her eyes, drifts off…
when a commotion shakes her.
Two men in uniforms are shouting
You, you there, you must deplane!
The world of the crowded cabin
goes silent with stares. She is the one
they want? Rising to obey their command,
she climbs over spared seatmates, finds
her voice to ask why—without answer.
Her laptop for school! As one man grabs her
arm, she leans away, reaches back
to grab the handle of her colorful carry-on,
grasps its handle, grips it as if it is all she has
to prove she belongs where she is going.
by Anne McCrady
Audio Link (hear Anne read the poem): SoundCloud