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Flight 404. LA—New York City
Diana Anhalt

As the plane barrels down the runway and lifts off, delirious with speed,
someone kicks against my seatback. Then I hear him. A five-year old?
Awesome, dad! Where are we now? We’re still in California, says his father.
How can you tell if the clouds get in the way? What’s a cloud?
A cloud’s made up of droplets of water, so tiny you never see them,
so light they float and—Can I have another cookie please? And now?
Where are we now? he asks through Arizona, Colorado, Illinois…
And what keeps our plane from falling from the sky?
See those engines? They push back the air that moves the plane
forward. Look at the shape of that wing. More air passes under
than over and that causes …The boy cries: That’s the stupidest thing
I’ve ever heard. You’ve made it all up.
The father clears his throat. How about this? Angels live in those clouds.
They carry the plane. On their backs. Silence. Then I hear the child. 
Yes, that’s what happens I think.

© by Diana Anhalt.
Used with the author’s permission.



Diana Anhalt was born in New York, but lived in Mexico for many years before moving to Atlanta, Georgia to be closer to family. A former high school teacher, editor, and civic leader, she is the author of A Gathering of Fugitives: American Political Expatriates in Mexico 1947-1965 (Archer Books), five chapbooks, and numerous essays, short stories, and book reviews in both English and Spanish.





Post New Comment:
Loved the poem - and also loved the comment by njc - thunder is angels bowling!
Posted 06/08/2015 01:39 AM
I love that!
Posted 06/04/2015 11:28 PM
very nice poem!
Posted 06/04/2015 02:36 PM
Love 5 year old logic--and who's to say? Great poem.
Posted 06/04/2015 11:53 AM
Shoshauna Shy:
I like the use of dialogue here. I also like NJC's comment below about angels bowling! Never heard that before!
Posted 06/04/2015 10:42 AM
Posted 06/04/2015 09:28 AM
Love this!
Posted 06/04/2015 08:34 AM
Delightful! Reminds me of how easily I believed my daddy when he explained thunder as angels bowling.
Posted 06/04/2015 08:18 AM

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