Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Airports Are Odd Places


Airports are odd places,
a smash of humanity battling
through document check,
(shoes off) (belt off) (coat off),
then imaging or pat down or
wand down and now even
a liquid wand check like they
don’t trust the water bottle
you just bought at the newsstand.
Then you sit and wait,
forced to listen to 17 cell phone
conversations, all shouted,
16 of which are
because people are bored
and forgot how to wait or
forgot how to read.
Finally! you line up,
assuming the flight’s on time,
and you crush into the aluminum
cylinder, fighting for that two by
one space in the overhead bin,
to fly at 450 miles an
hour to a destination of
hope or despair.
Time to board.

This poem has been submitted to One Stop Poetry for One Shot Wednesday. The post and links will be live at 4 p.m. central time today.

Photograph: People Mover, O'Hare Airport, by Peter Griffin. Used with permission by Public Domain Pictures.

36 comments:

JC Dude said...

Only you can make waiting at a airport a fantastic experience... awesome bro'

Kelly Langner Sauer said...

There is a flow to this one I've not gotten before from your work. I like how you engage the reader here. Oy. I feel like I'm waiting there.

I want my camera.

Sheila Siler said...

Been there done that! Is that the Detroit airport in the photo? You made me re-live the experience, well done!

katdish said...

My husband travels all the time. He has the check-in down to a science. He gets to the airport an hour early, knows how to get thru security quickly and smoothly, and because he has so many frequent flyer miles he often flies first class. For someone who hates to fly, it's as good of an experience as can be expected.

When we fly somewhere as a family, with two disorganized, distracted kids and me, it stresses him out. A lot. It normally takes him most of the flight to recover.

You've captured the scene at the airport wonderfully.

Maureen said...

You have the scene down pat.

I started using my military ID when I realized I was going through extra checking because no one could pronounce my name. But even with that I've hd to go through the imaging.

I don't mind the procedures. I just wish they were standardized at all airports. I think they're not on purpose.

shrinkingthecamel.com said...

Awesome! We were just in that situation a couple weeks ago, weren't we? I love the impatience and urgency in the tone or voice throughout this poem, even though it is about waiting and patience. Did you do that on purpose, or is that just me? :)

S. Etole said...

so much story in each line of your poem ...

L.L. Barkat said...

Ah, Chicago.

Those neon lights have kept me occupied many a time, when my imagination was waiting for flight.

Claudia said...

i've boarded...your wonderful poem where you capture airport atmosphere so well..great one shot Glynn!

Daniel Jay said...

It's all so, so, so true! Well spoken Glynn.

the wid0w said...

when a poem takes you back to a certain time in your life you know its worked... add to that dealing with 3 bored kids and youve about captured the initiation of my trip over here ;-) nice one shot ty

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

I was getting all claustrophobic, itchy and nervous just reading this...

and darknes is my word verf...what the hell?

dustus said...

Literally a trip to the airport in well-crafted lines—can see it all clearly, the scene, myriad annoyances, alongside a tone of frustration.

Ben Langhinrchs said...

I like the poem very much (except the last line, which I think you should leave off). You describe the experience eloquently.

Beachanny said...

Oh for the days of dressing in Sunday best surrounded by family as though we were on ocean liners and leaving forever. Even short hops served food with linen and silver and the stewards in navy uniforms/pins and gold braid. Gone like the dinosaurs now. Good write. Gay @beachanny

Timoteo said...

I like the "to a destination of hope or despair."
I purposely haven't flown since 9/11 when our country turned paranoid and flyers became so many cattle to be herded, poked and prodded, afraid to look cross-eyed at a flight attendant or utter the wrong word for fear of being thrown in the clink upon landing.

SuziCate said...

You captured it well...not a fan of flying! Good One Shot

poemblaze said...

A great job. The lines flow seamlessly.

Brian Miller said...

ha. i used to travel 5 days a week and got to know most airports in the US...you captured it so well...you can learn so much about some people without ever meeting them, just listening to their shouted conversations...nice one shot!

KB said...

You summed airports very well. Just reading this is giving me a headache, hehe.

Nick Rolynd said...

It's things like this that dissuade me from ever flying...I want to leave the US, but just the thought of having to go through airport security like it is today makes me shudder.

Anyway, great poem! =)

Carrie Burtt said...

Glynn you have captured the airport experience so eloquently...wonderful one shot!
:-)

Linda said...

This is perfect Glynn and reminds me why I really don't like flying (that and the upset stomach thing).

r3m3mb3rm3 said...

i know that airport in the pipctur it's the ohare airport in chicago isn't i've been there and i really like the airport :) weird huh
great poem

signed...bkm said...

love the part about not knowing how to wait or read anymore....everyone want constant simulation ...nice one shot...bkm

Jerry said...

I can see you writing things down as things go round while you wait.
Anthropology 101 revisited every day in terminals. I got it and I have flown only a handful of times in my life.

PattiKen said...

This is a great description of these portals to adventure, hopeful or filled with despair. I recognized every moment.

Belinda Munoz said...

Oh, airports. The waiting, the goodbyes -- an endurance test. Great capture.

senderupwords said...

Nice write wonderfully capturing the frsutration of air travel. Love and Light, Sender

Asobime said...

And why I hate flying!

You have captured all the angst of airports and the intrusions into our very bodies, privacy, patience, time, space, etc.

Good flow here. Enjoyed the resonance of this poem.

Lady Nyo

Eric Alder said...

I loved the line about the bored people having forgotten how to wait or how to read. (95% of all cell phone conversations are totally unnecessary)

Nice One Shot, Glynn!

betweenhearts75 said...

LOL awesome Glynn I think you just described my last airplane flight back to see family!!! Great job!!! =))

n. davis rosback said...

ah ha!
i can relate to this.

Leo said...

this reminds me of the last time I waited at an airport ;) super one shot! many can relate to it too! :D

My One Shot Poem - Morning Mist

liv2write2day said...

You painted a good picture of one of my least favorite things to do.
Victoria

Cor said...

Ha I loved this poem that is so true about the airport. The spin at the end " hope or despair" was great because as a reader, people can interpret the poem either way. Great One Shot :)