the airplane
by J.B. Mulligan

    Taken for granted:  a plane:
    thin, high, distant, silver.
    Noticed, then forgotten, like a breath.
    Or not noticed, part of an empty sky
    over empty scurrying, or dull,
    purposed, hungering endeavor.

    Who thinks of the dreamers, drawers,
    builders and early fliers?
    Da Vinci, the Wrights, von Richtoven?

    Who thinks of the mechanics,
    the workers in factories,
    the designers?  The raw ore
    and chemicals becoming
    thin, high, distant, silver?

    We think of the crash,
    the yellow blossom
    in the sky, on the ground,
    unpetaling lives, shrapnel
    in the hearts of the waiters,
    imagined screams beating
    like hammers in the forge of loss.

    We think of the landing,
    safe, smooth, tedious wait
    to get off and on with
    whatever we traveled to do.

    Our bodies lie:  it is all about us.
    Their bodies lie:  it is all about them.

    Here, in a high, thin,
    distant, silver object,
    is all of it:
    time, love, loss, dreams,
    wonder and discovery -
    and a useful thing made common.

    Far away, a couple builds
    a hut of leaves and branches.
    An infant hangs from its mother,s neck
    in a drab fat sack of the future.

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