Misty, ephemeral lights below
As we glide ghost-like to the ground.
A slow dash through the rain
And we sit and wait and sift our thoughts.
Flights delayed or cancelled
Float just out of reach -- the traveller's quest.
Too many people crowding around
Buried in her magazine a young girl leans against the wall.
Middle-aged, a man sits perhaps asleep with music in his ears.
Soft conversations suggest
More life in cell phones than in people.
Someone vaguely Asian moves down the aisle
Tapping on some handheld device (secret Asian man).
My mind drifts, picking berries more real than phantom airplanes
Circling like tired hawks searching for a place to land.
Backs collide in the press of people,
Exclamations of apology press out,
A thin wine of relational juice.
One harried woman cries out in lament:
"Paper! Give me paper! To take your names! Hear me! Help me!"
Harried staff relieve their tension,
Laughing at her distress once she is gone.
We sit by, too weary in our own journeys
To aid her in her quest
For a winged steed to carry her away
From O'Hare, our fallen Camelot.
We sit and dream of our own quests,
Some place beyond this swamp of delays and cancellations.
"I should have rented a car."
A few hours drive to Springfield in place of
So many hours sitting and waiting.
Friendships form, from Fort Wayne to Beijing,
As ephemeral as the clouds
Drifting apart as flights land.
Stories float through the air:
A missed connection to Iowa leaves a young woman distraught,
Confessing her despair to her cell phone,
The ubiquitous companion of solitary souls
Held in cell phone cellophane wrappers.
Some sleep, or sit silent alone. Next to me
A man slides his hat down over his eyes,
Blocking the glare of bright bright light,
Chasing the dream of life outside
A mother walks past, baby in sling crying,
but only a bit. The baby is at home with mother.
We only dream of home.
An attendant consults the computer
To tell a traveller what
Already says from every wall around.
Another with less ceremony wrests real information
From the computer,
Giving hope to our dreams.
A football flies by,
Two boys in their own quest for glory.
Penn State fans meet someone from Iowa,
And jest of dreams already past.
A crowd gathers round the Sports Bar TV.
One man, neat suit and tie, shakes his head
In dismay as the Yankees fall behind
on this stage of their own quest.
So many people, drinking and eating,
Laughing and crying and loving.
My hope of warm bed fades
Into the bright bright light and hard chair.
She is here anyway, and my dream lives.
22 October 2009