Flight by Bonnie Proudfoot


It was one of those times I made
it to the bus to the airport
in plenty of time, one of those
flights that felt like it might also
be on time, my love, the gate boarding
going as well as it could, checking
boarding passes, ping, ping, squeezing
a suitcase into an overhead, squeezing
my butt into seat B, all this a regular weight,
but not too heavy, but then the wait
begins, rain delays on the runway,
a sudden feeling that home is further
than ever, as if the present I live through
might not lead to the future I imagine,
the mask digging into my ears,
the air darkening outside, then finally
lifting off, rising into deeper darkness,
the long droning slog through the air,
then landing, glint of rain, dim fog settling
as the highway narrows, the scratch
of windshield wipers interminable,
gauntlet of deer mostly still as statues,
then home, the house dark except
for odd little digital dials, it’s way past
4 am now, even the pets are groggy
and you’re sleeping so soundly, but
your arms open, and for the first time
in two weeks, I release the weight
of being who I imagine that everyone
needs me to be, I lie down beside you,
the air just beginning to glow, doves
starting to call the dawn, and now,
my love, I’m so light I could fly.


Bonnie Proudfoot’s work has been nominated for a Pushcart and Best of the Net. She writes essays, fiction and poetry. Her novel, Goshen Road, (Swallow Press, 2020) was selected by the Women’s National Book Association for one of its Great Group Reads, Long-listed for the 2021 PEN/ Hemingway Award, and in 2022 it won the WCONA Book of the Year Award. Her poetry chapbook, Household Gods, was published by Sheila-Na-Gig Editions in 2022. She lives in Athens, Ohio, and in her spare time she creates glass art and plays blues harmonica.

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