The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Wednesday, Cabin John Park, Zooming


Vacation
By Rita Dove

I love the hour before takeoff,
that stretch of no time, no home
but the gray vinyl seats linked like
unfolding paper dolls. Soon we shall
be summoned to the gate, soon enough
there’ll be the clumsy procedure of row numbers
and perforated stubs—but for now
I can look at these ragtag nuclear families
with their cooing and bickering
or the heeled bachelorette trying
to ignore a baby’s wail and the baby’s
exhausted mother waiting to be called up early
while the athlete, one monstrous hand
asleep on his duffel bag, listens,
perched like a seal trained for the plunge.
Even the lone executive
who has wandered this far into summer
with his lasered itinerary, briefcase
knocking his knees—even he
has worked for the pleasure of bearing
no more than a scrap of himself
into this hall. He’ll dine out, she’ll sleep late,
they’ll let the sun burn them happy all morning
—a little hope, a little whimsy
before the loudspeaker blurts
and we leap up to become
Flight 828, now boarding at Gate 17.

--------

Tuesday was younger son's 25th birthday, although since he had to work, I did not talk to him till nearly 11 p.m. I did get a celebration in the morning, though: our neighbors were having an Eid al-Adha feast and brought us breakfast with mint tea, fried bread, and Moroccan honey, which I now know is the best in the world. Otherwise it was a pretty uneventful day until late afternoon, when we went to the post office to mail some packages (and son's jury duty summons, and my mid-ordered leaf pouch), then took a walk in Cabin John Park.

My Voyager group did not watch an episode this week because one of us is traveling; instead we tested a bunch of different meeting platforms for next week when we watch "Resolutions" and are expecting several visitors, which let us play with goofy backgrounds, too. When eventually we got off chat, I watched this week's Superman and Lois, still uneven, and Miracle Workers, which remains delightful nuttiness, before we got ahold of son, who had just eaten Thai food and had leftover cake from the weekend. A few today pics:

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2021-07-20 17.02.44

2021-07-20 17.02.47

2021-07-20 17.20.28

2021-07-20 17.01.37

2021-07-20 20.05.02A

2021-07-20 23.14.32
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