Vanitas

Yesterday’s news out of SeaTac affected me deeply. This poem grew from those emotions.

Vanitas

At first we were giddy at the audacity
or maybe the middle finger to darker memories;
it was easy to forget with a guy named Rich
wanting to perform a barrel roll in a Q400
and see the mama orca and her baby –
dead baby,
unprecedented mourning;
fighter jets scrambled, brakes on,
ground-pause.

We’re just trying to find a place
a place for you to land safely.
Could you start a left-hand turn, please?
That please squeezed between broke us.
Rich’s apologies and determination
to joyride his way to oblivion –
It’s burned out quite a bit faster
than I expected, he said.
I need to quit looking.

–JR


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