Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Poetic Asides Wednesday August 24.2011 "everything going against me"

Thought I Was Having a Bad One

The connection was going
to be tight
Leaving New York,
we sat on the tarmac
Forty‑five minutes

It meant the hour extra
in Toronto
was shrunk down
to fifteen non‑existent clicks
since we had “head-winds”
or some such

But, some fates smiled
and the plane was held
so I squeezed into my seat
Just as the flight attendants
Began their spiel

I hated being in the middle
But it was the last seat
And I was nothing but grateful
Until about ten minutes up,
the young girl near the window
Started upchucking
Unbelievably, she had no airsickness bag

The man beside me rang for help
I stuck my barf bag
under her chin

As an obviously disinterested attendant
—much sulking and huffing—
At our insistence finally
Brought more bags and napkins

My seatmate and I, realizing
What dire-straits the gal was in
Also knew, she needed the aisle
so she could hoof it to the can

As we were making this
Switch, I rang for assistance
And a larger bag …
I’m afraid I couldn’t resist cracking
As the grumpy faced attendant
Reluctantly handed over
An un-opened green garbage bag

“Well – where’s your perky now?”
As they sped away from us
Without a backward glance.

I couldn’t believe it
The company that is all
Smiles and giggles usually
Did not check on this girl once
In a four and a half hour trip

So – lucky me – I love the window
And ended up there
True, without the movie I’d ordered
But it seemed a small thing
When I regarded my puking friend
Clutching her green garbage bag

And the nice man – who ended
Up in the middle with all my junk
Spread around his feet and buttocks—
I confess, I tend to nest very quickly—
Turned out was pretty uncomfortable
There – he had M.S. and arthritis
And some form of heart-disease—
Believe me – I felt his pain.

And once I heard his story
Or more accurately, stories
I decided there was nothing wrong
In my world what-so-ever

I don’t even know
how we got
Talking about
the things we did
But somehow I learned
About this guy’s first wife
Dying of cancer
And then his dearly loved
Present wife
who was dying of same
Oh my Lord –
how crappy is that?

Then we moved on
 to our kids
And hadn’t he
already lost a son?
My worst fear –
death of a child
And I said as much
when he tells me,
“Yep – he was killed by a bear.”

Omigod – I hardly know
How to respond
When he tells me
it was worse
For his friend who saw it
the whole thing …

They were working
Together in the oil-patch
And the friend
Made it up a tree
But his boy …

I am sitting
Thirty-three thousand feet
In the air
In shock
As this awful movie
Is unspooling
In my mind

My eyes are filled
And when I
Try to express
My sorrow to this man
I see his face is wet also

He tells me many
Other things about his life
On our long trip
Across the country
Not all of them horrible
And I in quiet awe
Of his resilience
By the time
We part in Edmonton

The girl on the aisle
Stops hurling
As we begin our descent
So we all figure
She had a bonafide
Case of air-sickness

The attendants
Are not impressed
When I hand them
The garbage bag
On the way off the plane

By then I am tired
And a bit heartsick
But, ever the activist
Make note of their
I know I will feel well
Enough eventually
To turn their
Perky selves in
To the powers that be
I mean – sheesh.

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