05 December 2010

waiting to land

you know the drill:
the fasten seatbelt light comes on.
the little announcement:
seats up. tables up. electronics off.

the plane tilts slightly and begins its slow fall
to earth.

out the window.
houses slowly become houses.
trees become trees.
you can see people as well as cars.

the plane begins to slow and drop a little faster –
depending on what airport you are arriving at you fly over
highways, strip malls and apartment buildings from the ‘50s.
there’s always a McDonald’s to be seen.

then you are over the runway
and you can see the magic marker streaks
from all the other planes before you,
which is reassuring.

and then there is that moment -
just before you touch down -
when the pilot throttles back
and the plane becomes quiet.
everything hushed,
engines and people.
everyone floats
and everyone waits
for the jolt and the sound of the rubber
meeting the road.

though it’s just seconds,
it always goes on far longer
than seems possible,
as if the earth had suddenly disappeared
from beneath the plane.

that moment, right there.
that hush, that pause,
has filled my entire life.
my whole life, hanging in the air,

waiting to land.

1 comment:

WriteSmith said...

Our lives are moments. You bring this one fully, Richard.