Today’s challenge is to write something (a poem) that involves a story or action that unfolds over an appreciable length of time. Furthermore, the poem might focus on imagery, sound, emotional content, or all three!
Single, more than a little confused,
too young to drink legally,
yet old enough to wear a uniform
and to carry a loaded gun and
to kill the right people.
Black and white memories flash
with Kodachrome images of the
the dismal rolling landscape of west Texas,
under cloudless skies loved
by jack rabbits, rattlesnakes, and other natives.
We stood side-by-side watching big silver
eight-engine birds pushing black smoke,
shaking concrete runways and buildings,
and digging into a young man’s bones and his soul,
calling me. “Come son. The sky will be ours.”
Dreamily I said, “I will fly those birds someday.”
His white teeth showed through a friendly grin
of disbelief. I didn’t know how or when,
or maybe I doubted it too. A dream too big?
Marriage and then college, and real life happened.
I let that dream die. My family was my life.
Mom was proud. My aunt bought me my ring.
Then waiting, sitting alone. Again, the sound.
“Come back to us. The skies are ours.”
My call to go where men find glory.
Again, wearing a uniform. Soon, months pass.
Then an officer and a gentleman.
My ups and downs, but then silver wings adorn.
My choices, Phantoms of glory, movers and shakers,
spinners and winners, or an old memory
of my friend’s doubtful smile. My dream.
The twenty-year-old lumbering big jet
called me “son” years back when I stood there
in younger man’s clothes. The sights and the smells,
sounds not so sweet as the memory of that day,
When I told the world and I saw the black smoke,
“Someday I’ll come back and together we’ll fly.”
One day we landed on that west Texas base,
I stood on the same spot as he and I had.
I smiled and said, “Today is my someday.”
©Bill Reynolds, 4/03/2019
‘Check six’ is flyboy for look both ways. The discipline is minding the gaps.