JetBlue Flight 654
by Kasey Hartung
I used to hate those people
who clapped when the plane
landedóthose people who
took out their prayer
books when the wheels left Earth
and the wings touched the sky.
Whenever I take to the sky
I look at the faces of peopleó
of strangersóIíll be leaving Earth
with that day. Whispers of planes
being safer than cars drown out the prayers
of the woman next to me. The woman who
prays is the woman who
looks out her window towards the sky
naming clouds after the dead relatives of her prayers.
I hate these people
because they make me scared of planes
and make me believe Iíll never return to Earth.
They say, in the grand scheme of things, life on Earth
is trivial. If our engines lose thrust, who
on Earth could help us? God plays with planes
like toys because without us, His sky
is boring. And without Him, people
have nowhere to send their prayers.
My version of a prayer
will come if we nosedive back towards Earth.
Itíll be short and sweet and people
wonít hear it in my head. See, who
needs to hear it, but the Being in the Sky?
Next time, Iíll buckle my belt tighter on the plane
because Iím losing hope in a plane
that sends its prayers to a pilot who prays
for fine weather and finer stewardessesóladies of the sky
who dedicate their life to staying above Earth.
Donít have them ask me where Iím from or who
I am because Iím not one of those people
on planes who likes nervous small talk. So Earth,
I pray you donít change while Iím gone. But who
knows if Iíll be back from the sky, away from these people.
Copyright © 2017 by Kasey Hartung.