28th February, 2016 (Last Day Away)

by Brendan Strong

Spent the morning stretched out
On a rack made of time:
No hours pass, no minutes, but seconds,
Second by

second                     by                      second

Until                         the                    time

comes to rush:
No slow motion, keep on keeping on
Until everything is done
And we are ready to go.
We are ready to go home.

At the airport, there is more time.
Stacked on the shelves of shops,
Chilling in the fridges of the cafés and bars,
Seeking boarding, time passes everywhere.

And then there’s time hanging around
In the flight delay. This time will be taken from
A connecting flight. Another rack to stretch us out
Between countries, nervous for the seconds
Burning away in the air:
Second by second thrusting us forward
Contrails in the wake.

We do not belong in airports or
Airplanes or
Anywhere they have built to
Infuse calm
Keyed up to overcome delay to
Avoid being late.
And missing a flight, maybe the last today.

Jagged walk lightning
Curving, swaying, dodging, bumping
Transfers and travelers,
Who are
Calmly going to their own gate.

But we make it.
Maybe they waited,
But we make it.
We make it home.