Sometimes I still wait for my dad
to land, my childhood a dream
from which I can’t quite wake. Years
later, he still taught ground school,
still took students for their first flights.
A student flew into a power line,
their plane exploding into flames,
both dead before the ashes consumed
the ground. Someone called to tell me,
from the tiny orange terminal, the place
I had spent all those childhood Saturdays,
reading books and dreaming of big cities,
while my dad made extra money to pay
my mother’s medical bills. People talk
about when flying was glamorous,
when beautiful women presented you
meals under bell jars. I never traveled
that way. Instead, I rode in the luggage
area of a Cessna, stowed away, a carry-on
that he never forgot to take with him.
About the Author
Michelle Brooks’ work has been published or is forthcoming in Threepenny Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Iowa Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Natural Bridge, and elsewhere. Her poetry collection, Make Yourself Small, was published by Backwaters Press, and her novella, Dead Girl, Live Boy, was published by Storylandia Press.