Posted by: John Looker | 12 April, 2020

While we cannot travel …

 

“Doors to manual”
and the flight finally
lands.
We burst from the plane
like a can of cola
unzipped. At last! 

All night long
in that shaken tube, 
that intimate kaleidoscope
of strangers – but now
it’s Passports, Baggage
and escape. 

There’s barely time
to drop the cases
before a child
has flown like a bird
to perch in your arms
by your cheek.

 

© John Looker 2015

This was first published (under the title ‘The Arrival‘) by the Austin International Poetry Festival in their 25th anniversary anthology ‘When Time and Space Conspire’, 2017. It was reproduced in my second book ‘Poems for my Family’ (Bennison Books, 2018). Both are available through Amazon. 

More important: it was first written for my granddaughter Evie.


Responses

  1. By your cheek … how I miss that

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, your novel The Next Headland certainly celebrates that kind of love. Totally unsentimental novel. Loved it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ethel and I both read this this Easter morning, John. What makes this so good is what is not stated. Like much of Ethel’s poetry it paints both a visual and an emotional image:

        All night long
        in that shaken tube,
        that intimate kaleidoscope
        of strangers – but now
        it’s Passports, Baggage
        and escape.

        and then follows that up with a message that is not stated, but sticks in the reader’s mind. A poem about love and coming out of confinement, this is the perfect poem about Easter in the middle of a pandemic.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hello Tom – thank you, how nice to picture you and Ethel reading this together. Best wishes to you both on this very strange Easter Sunday.

          Like

  2. “cola unzipped” is a wonderful image of arrival after a long flight. And then your poem gets to the bit where being “zipped” for so long is suddenly forgotten!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Bruce – it’s good to hear from you, and thank you. Best wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Bring on the tears. We have cancelled our flight to our one-year-old granddaughter in Chicago and our arms ache for the eighteen-month-old grandson who we looked after every week until this February.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s hard Hilary, very hard. We have to hope that normal life will resume in the not too distant future; but meanwhile our grandchildren won’t stop growing up!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Another wonderful poem, John. I admire and learn from your poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A delightful poem, John.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Betty. I’m sorry, I seem to have missed your comment until today. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful poem, John.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautiful! This summer has been difficult for all. Your poem is comforting!

    Like

    • Thank you Lynda. It certainly has been difficult. I hope you and yours are getting through in good shape.

      Like


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