by Rita Dove
I love the hour before takeoff,
that stretch of no time, no home
but the gray vinyl seats linked like
unfolding paper dolls.
Here's the rest of Rita Dove's poem.
A couple of days ago, I got a newsletter from the Academy of American Poets entitled, "'I'm just here in my traveler's clothes': Poems for Vacation Travels." I hadn't read any of the poems yet, and when I clicked on this one this morning, I was startled by how appropriate it was for my day yesterday. I flew home from just over three weeks traveling by myself in the United States. Dove describes the nowhere yet everywhere feeling of airports so well in this poem.
Getting home is always a maelstrom of emotions. You'd think I'd be prepared for it, after all these years of back and forth, and I sort of am, but each time it hits me a little differently. I had been up since four AM, and the atmosphere was more oven-like than I had remembered. There were visible signs of the recent riots - frequent piles of the remains of burned tires on the road home, for example. And my house always looks different to me when I'm returning from the States: I see everything through American eyes for a few moments and think in some surprise, "This is where I live? Huh."
I decided to leave the luggage completely alone. I ate a sandwich, took a shower, and went straight to bed. Everything would look better in the morning, I reasoned, and you know what? It does.
Heidi has today's roundup.
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