by Deanna K. Morris

Ice crystals coat the wings of the plane, patrols of padded men spray deicer as if christening a virgin voyage with champagne. The woman in the fifth aisle, window seat watches. She is no maiden and she has left him before. The pilot assures the passengers they will be on their way within the hour. They wait. The ice clicks at the windows of the plane, the tarmac thickens the ice a gleaming black, the brine from salt trucks like dry tears. Her children are settled in the seat beside her, dressed in California plaid under new winter coats. She wonders how she came to be here, on this plane, in this storm. She orders a cocktail; gin and tonic on the rocks. Her children sip on Seven-Up. The steward tells her the ice is thawing; it always does. Even so, she places her diamond wedding band on the other hand. A piece of ice from the drink cuts her lip; she soothes it with the same piece of ice.

Copyright 2023 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.