Wednesday, January 2, 2013

So glad it wasn't me

I'm on a writing retreat this week, working on new poems. On my list of things to write about was this experience returning from Florida last winter.


Staying out of It
“Don’t let me order a drink”
The woman says to the girl between us
“I’m on medication for panic
And I can’t have alcohol”
But when the cart reaches us
And we’ve learned more than we need to know about her fears
She orders double vodka with orange juice
Hands the girl between us a zipper bag
And asks for two Oxycontin
In a voice laced with Atlanta helplessness

What’s the girl to do
The woman has 30 years on her
And the girl has Asian obedience written in the
Bowing of her head and the neatness of her jeans

It’s a long flight and when the cart comes around again
The woman  orders more vodka and hands the girl the bag
And asks for two of the little blue ones
Her makeup is impeccable for all this and her clothes expensive
The zipper bag holds a pharmacy of relief
And if it were mine, I wouldn’t be handing it over
To a stranger but it isn’t mine and neither is the vodka
And I am both relieved and envious

It’s a long flight and she starts in again
I want to ignore all this
I want the girl to say no but I know she can’t
So  I get up and speak to the flight attendant
Who speaks to the girl
who puts in earphones and buries herself
In her Kindle and the addict in the window seat
Finds the call button all by herself
but the attendant doesn’t come
And she rummages in the zipper bag herself and
Whatever she takes then does the trick
And puts her out of our misery

And I think of flights years ago
When I needed a bourbon chaser for my own demons
And I don’t envy whoever is meeting this woman in Portland

2 comments:

Susansweaters said...

Wow, this is such a sad situation. That woman's body won't take much more!

D.M. SOLIS said...

So very fine! Wonderful how you see and what you say. Thank you!

Peace and all good things for you in writing and in life.

Sincerely,
Diane