was written at the airport
heading back home with her girls
during the split – for a breath
of fresh air.
She prepared the bags before,
trying to decide which case to take:
a large trunk, a receptacle
like a chest,
big enough to pack a dead body
or a simple carry on, a hold all,
where things fit tightly
with no space to breathe.
But then even a little vanity
case could work…
or maybe she should just get a grip.
Pick once and for all.
She selected articles for weeks
placing them in, taking them back
out, putting them back in.
She always tended to overpack.
In airport lines, some baggage was weighed
in and left, some, carried around, cut
into shouldered bones. She turned
to watch one escape down
the conveyer belt, and a poem
surfaced like a buoy filled with air,
not to inhale, but to stay afloat.
To save a life, all the same.
She carted her kids into a cubicle
of a ladies’ rest room.
As they watched the light that came
through door cracks