Isolated from family, friends and the world
Living in your own little corner of self
Narrow-minded and judgmental and cynical
Becoming the person you chose to be
Until the day she bounced onto your knee
Breaking the crust surrounding your heart
The vacuum you worked so hard to achieve
Shattered by a simple gurgle and a giggle
Hard to recall the way you once were
Seeing you with her in the quiet before dawn
Your world ever changed by her grasp on your finger
An abandoned miracle gifted especially for you
When you judge on artistic merit alone
‘Tis not a world in black and white
But rather varying shades of gray
For what you see as robin egg blue
May be perceived as aquamarine to me
Who is right and who is wrong
Or is there no correct answer
But rather a sense of personal taste
As understood only by you and I
Yet it is you who has electoral control
For I have gifted you the final vote
FICTIONAL SHORT STORY
The sun glistening off the wing tip flashed across her face. Alexis opened her eyes and jerked her head away from the brightness of light pouring through the window of the airplane. Must be daybreak, she thought. Another red-eye from LAX under my belt.
The familiar stiffness of muscles from a night spent sleeping upright in her seat was comforting, like a small town parade welcoming home one of their own. She unbuckled her seatbelt and stretched her arms upward, shoulders flexing, hands touching the cabin liner above her. Settling back into her seat, she saw the airline attendant approaching with a tray.
“Your usual red-eye fare, ma’am. Orange juice and an apple muffin. Courtesy of the Golden State,” said the attendant.
“Cassie, you are an angel in the sky. We almost ready to start descent?” Alexis asked.
“A few minutes yet. Mind if I take a sit while you breakfast?” asked Cassie.
“Be my guest. Always enjoy your company,” replied Alexis, motioning to the seat next to her.
Cassie removed Alexis’ leather bag from the seat, its surface soft and smooth as buttercream from miles of travel, the hint of citrus polish lingering in her hand.
“I have to ask, and tell me to shove off if I am touching a nerve. But from what I understand, you could write your own ticket. I mean, you could have the corner office at corporate headquarters with all the bells, whistles and perks galore. Why do you choose to stay in the air instead?” asked Cassie.
“Simple,” Alexis replied. “I never drank the corporate koolaid. Don’t get me wrong, we work for a good outfit. But daily living in a corporate environment is not my buzz. I would shrivel up and fade away in a New York City minute. I am best in the field. And not just for me, but for the company too.”
“Makes sense, I suppose,” said Cassie.
“Well, answer me this,” Alexis asked. “Why did you decide to work for an airline?”
“Simple,” Cassie replied. “Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to travel and see the world. And I’ve been lucky enough to do just that for the past ten years.”
“Well then, there is your answer,” Alexis said. “We are the breed of folk who can make their home wherever they happen to be at the moment. Doesn’t matter if it includes a front door or the zipper of a carry-on. Home is in our hearts, not buried in any one place.”
A series of three ping-dong tones came over the speakers, followed by a heartbeat of static and the captain’s voice announcing their impending descent to JFK, along with the weather for New York City.
“That’s my cue. Back to work,” Cassie said. “By the way, where you heading next?
“Well, a few days in the big apple at corporate, then off to Singapore for two weeks. Guess I’ll see you on my next red-eye from LA, gal pal,” replied Alexis.
“Then I’ll keep an eye on the roster and set aside a blueberry muffin and grapefruit juice for you. You could use a change,” Cassie responded.
After all the passengers had departed, Cassie completed a final check of the overhead luggage compartments and gathered her belongings. The crew exited the plane while the captain hung back.
“You’re not looking so melancholy as when you boarded, Cassie,” the captain said.
“Yeah, I guess I was a little sad, wasn’t I? Chalk it up to message from my sister back in Oklahoma,” Cassie replied.
“Good news, I hope?” the captain asked.
“Oh sure. She is pregnant with her third child. Guess I was feeling a little homesick. But then after talking with Alexis, I feel better. Oklahoma is not where I am meant to be. Works for my sister, but not for me,” she said.
“Well, my mother always said, home is where your heart is,” he replied. “Glad your heart is here in the air with us, Cassie.”
Electronic birds chirp from a box
Sounding the alarm to start the day
Shower, dress and a cuppa tea
Out on the deck for a moment of peace
Puppies up and ready to be fed
A romp then a walk along the ridge
Deadlines loom and fire drills begin
Thrive on the chaos like a video game
Check the clock and take a deep sigh
‘Tis noon and the morning is survived