Jan/Feb 2020 Poetry Special Feature

Airport Motel Haibun

by David Mathews

Borrowed image

Airport Motel Haibun

Planes fly over that never seem to land. Winds seem to never blow in from the west. An old long Lincoln Continental is parked the way a plane crashes or a boat shipwrecks on a shore—it's parked on an angle with a flat tire and a front bumper kissing a cement car stops. The moonlight gives a glimpse inside the empty vessel—scattered newspapers and clothing, a hot plate, and a spot on the dash where you suspect St. Christopher's likeness was. The motel shares the parking lot with a Denny's where a young waitress just started her shift—most likely for the next twenty years. Knowing this, everyone tips her just in case what they guess is true. Above the first floor rooms a sign warns that things left behind in parked cars aren't safe.

A sign says to always lock the door.
Sleep even if the mattress crutches.
Tomorrow is not today.


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