"Her First Poem"


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