Saturday, October 31, 2015

On a higher plane
( Flight 59 )

The jet banked hard, almost sideways
almost upside down, over the Rocky Mountains
avoiding, the pilot said (he would know), a bank 
of clouds full of snow up ahead. Speaking of banks, 
the man across the aisle to the right looked like 
he ran one, or maybe a chain of them. 
He pointed out my window, and opened conversation. 

“Look at those mountains,” he said. “So majestic.” 

The jet leveled off a bit, and headed into western Kansas.

“Well, I guess what you’re gonna say next is that
that plain down there is fruited,” I said. 
“Are you cynical?” 
“No. But I am 59.”
The in-flight movie ended, and a row of soldiers 
rose, stretched, and single-filed back to the bathroom. 
The banker half-rose in his seat, said hello, saluted
and thanked them.

“You gotta hand it to them, don’t you? I take
my hat off to them,” he said, after they passed. 

“Yes. And I'm glad they're alive.” 

I got more interested in the weave of fabric 
on the seat back in front of me, than Kansas. 
I felt the banker looking at the side of my head;
he would say some more.

“They deserve our thanks. Our gratitude,” he said. 
“We need to honor their sacrifice.”

“Ok, I agree.”

“They are defending our freedoms.”

“Oh come on. You know better than that. Those guys 
never even met my mother.” 

The jet banked hard left, under the weight of the banker. 

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