Wednesday, June 23, 2021

The Plane

I imagine that the fuselage
is silver, a DC-3 lost in time,
as it drones above the small town
and the surrounding pastures

and, later, the cornfields
lined with telephone posts,
wires sagging with old voices
seeking answers over miles.

But the plane passes over all
with humility despite its altitude
and prescient view of the questions
that burden the shoulders and minds

of factory men, khaki-covered,
and their wives, mopping linoleum floors
on a day that will never be remembered
on the grainy pulp that becomes history.

The passenger in the last seat
is thinking of an aria he heard in Italy
and whether he will tell his wife
about the woman in Milan,

a slender stalk with black hair
and songs on her breasts.
He does not think he will.
She was a silver dress lost in time.

His wife will have questions
because of his troubled brow,
will call her neighbors and sigh,
saying, “I do not know him anymore.”

Her voice will drone
and the plane’s engine will sweep it away.
Late afternoon, holding the hours,
listens for whispers in endless fields of wheat.

~William Hammett

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