Chicago to Melbourne


It’s always Christmas at the airport.

Beneath you spreads a coruscation

of guiding lights,

red and green and gold,

falling away as you rise

replaced by the city, blueprinted

in patterned white.


Anxiety falls away as well,

the clutching of scraps of paper —

still, in this digital age, we hold tightly

to our snippets of paper — passport, visa,

boarding pass.  Forget them now.


You are safely on the plane,

and though it may bump and jump,

you are safer than you were

on the ground. Climb through

the cloud layer. The lights disappear.


You leave the land

far behind, the lights of home fires

electrified.  You soar over the great

waters, with darkness below and above.

You are small, cradled in this miraculous

flying ship.  You are missing

the lights of home, the fragile beating hearts

of your children, the warmth of their arms.


Here is a blanket, a pillow.

Close your eyes and try to rest.

The lights will return; for now,

embrace the greater darkness.