Over the years, both my children have provided the fodder for much of my poetry. This is one I wrote for the birthday boy several years ago, as he was preparing to take a flight cross country without me to spend a vacation with his best friend's family.
Happy birthday to my youngest. Love you, kiddo!
I've checked the flight times,
feel like Lady Macbeth
washing hands. Unhealthy,
this obsession with ghosts
and death, weapons smuggled
on board, engine failure.
You recede down the jetway,
smaller and younger. If you slip
your hand into the flight attendant's,
I will break protocol, run straight
through security for a reassuring
kiss, a final systems check.
The lights are all green. You roll
your eyes when I remind you.
Be polite. Brush your teeth.
I love you. An orange
jumpsuited man herds me
off the runway. Hey lady,
are you crazy? He stands
in a concrete pentagram,
fluorescent hands conjuring birds
in and out of the sky. You flicker
across the event horizon
and I say, "Yes. Yes I am."