Flight Plans

I’ve been driving so much recently 

That I find myself in the same places

Over and over again

And I’ve gone to Harris Hill a number of times

For company picnics, birthday parties,

Even a running club’s annual meeting 

And 2 book club lunches with different

Groups of girls I tutor
It’s a beautiful area, 

All this park space with pavilions

And picnic tables everywhere 

A camp for youth

And at one end a mini amusement park

At the other, the historical soaring field

And museum
Did you know that my grandfather,

My father’s father, Youston, was a glider pilot

And even competed in national competitions

Doing aerobatics?

And he was sort of drafted 

During WWII to train soldiers

As glider pilots as they’d decided

“They” being the powers that be

To use gliders for reconnaissance since

They are motorless, and therefore, 

Relatively silent.
At one time I had dreams of joining the Air Force

To be a pilot and hero,

But my eyes are far from perfect 

And my mind is more suited for art

And literature.
Not too terribly long ago,

Perhaps 2 years,

I drove up to the Harris Hill overlook.

It sits below the takeoff and landing lawn

Where the planes pull the gliders up into the air

And then release the tow line mid-flight 
Allowing the pilots to sail over the valley below

Chasing thermals and warm updrafts

Much like the hawks, eagles, and even vultures

Circling the skies on sunny days.
I parked my car and sat, alone, on one of the

Silver metal swings 

Which are really meant for two or three

But it was only I who was there

Alone

Rocking back and forth

Chains squealing from disuse and age

Foot pedal thumping each time it hit the ground

Squeeeeeeak

Thump

Squeeeeeeak

Thump

Soon my breathing and heart were beating 

In sync with that goddamn swing

And the tears were cutting hot swaths

Down my face

Pain was rising up in my chest

Wanting to erupt in a series of

Howling sobs

But I pushed it down

Bending over

Binding that pain

Damning that weakness

Hating myself for my hopelessness 

Even as I wondered

What would it feel like

To make a mighty arc

Leaping up from the swing

And trying 

To

Fly

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2 thoughts on “Flight Plans

  1. again a beauty: “Soon my breathing and heart were beating

    In sync with that goddamn swing

    And the tears were cutting hot swaths

    Down my face

    Pain was rising up in my chest

    Wanting to erupt in a series of

    Howling sobs”………but this is not weakness to be denied but the powerful strength of emotions pushing to come out and heal you and move you forward……just getting them expressed here was an act of courage (and fine writing skill)…..keep it up…..your flying now!

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