Jan/Feb 2011 Poetry

Building a Plane

by Bob Bradshaw

Building a Plane

I never wanted commitment. I lived alone
in an apartment on the top floor.
Clouds like surf stretched towards Japan.

I started work on the plane's belly,
and lived inside it for months.

When Sara, a neighbor,
stepped into my room her jaw dropped.
Soon she was bringing ham sandwiches
as I drilled rivets and hung fuel lines.

Every man should have a passion, she said,
helping me to hang the wings.
I ratcheted them in place. Together
we braced supports and mounted
the engine on its frames.

"How do you plan to get this plane
out of your apartment?" she asked.

I never thought that I would get this far,
honestly. Now that the horizontal
stabilizer and the cockpit controls
are in place, I feel a little

lost. "We could do a lot more
with this apartment..."

That night I opened the window
and sat in the cockpit, clouds
streaming by like water
rushing by a bank. Within a year

I would lose my bachelorhood
and Sara would move in, a crib
occupying the space where once
the right wing reached out,

the plane dismantled, stored
in a warehouse, my days

of flight gone...


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