DFW to Sky Harbor

DFW to Sky Harbor
by Janice C. Johnson

Voices, noises, choices of drinks. Hurried attendants,
the insistent whine of jet engines and cranky toddlers.
A family starts their vacation, the kids oscillating with excitement.
A man checks sales figures on his laptop while a woman stows
her briefcase and sits, easing out of high heels.

Mountains folded in bold relief hold their thoughts to themselves.
They do not hear the noisy jet through the thick, downy silence
broken only by an occasional birdcall.
They don’t even look up. They are watching their shadows
cross the desert at a measured pace.

A backpack, brown hair, a Teddy bear. Unaware
of Mom’s kiss still faintly visible on her cheek,
this small island of bravery looks down at the mountains.
She envies the desert animals safe in their holes,
and fingers the badge hanging round her neck:
Daddy’s name.

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