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Friday, March 20, 2009

Poetry Friday - Vacation

Can I tell you how very excited I am to be heading to St. John in the US Virgin Islands for spring vacation? It is going to be an amazing week of sunshine, sand, and snorkeling in Caribbean blue waters (yes, of course there will be books, too, but it doesn't fit the alliteration pattern). I plan to come back tan, rested and ready for the end of the school year. I thought this was a fun poem to start off vacation. Enjoy your break!

by Rita Dove

I love the hour before takeoff,
that stretch of no time, no home
but the gray vinyl seats linked like
unfolding paper dolls. Soon we shall
be summoned to the gate, soon enough
there’ll be the clumsy procedure of row numbers
and perforated stubs—but for now
I can look at these ragtag nuclear families
with their cooing and bickering
or the heeled bachelorette trying
to ignore a baby’s wail and the baby’s
exhausted mother waiting to be called up early
while the athlete, one monstrous hand
asleep on his duffel bag, listens,
perched like a seal trained for the plunge.
Even the lone executive
who has wandered this far into summer
with his lasered itinerary, briefcase
knocking his knees—even he
has worked for the pleasure of bearing
no more than a scrap of himself
into this hall. He’ll dine out, she’ll sleep late,
they’ll let the sun burn them happy all morning
—a little hope, a little whimsy
before the loudspeaker blurts
and we leap up to become
Flight 828, now boarding at Gate 17.

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