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WHITE KNUCKLES

Flight 804 has left on time --
I close my eyes.  We swiftly climb
To cruising height.  I draw a breath
In hopes that we have cheated death.

Familiar landscapes disappear;
I still cannot control my fear.
The hours pass and still we fly;
I watch the rain clouds flowing by,

Over fertile farmlands far below
To charcoal mountains laced with snow
And rivers, valleys, rocks and trees.
My seat mate moves and bumps my knees.

Time creeps by, I sit and think
How much I'd like to have a drink.
At last, at last!  My town appears --
We gently land, I've lost my fears.

And will I fly again?  You bet!
Since flying hasn't killed me yet.
 

HILTON HOTEL, UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON, 1976

Japonica tree in a chromed container,
Circular staircase going up red;
Desk discreet, a fountain outside
And a bunching of literates to be fed.

L.B.J. and Conrad Hilton
Suspended, ignored, on opposite walls;
Collegial laughter, a fleeting aquaintance
With black men in white embellishing halls.
 

SPRING, 1986

Umbrellas bloomed in London;
The wind was most unkind!
It tattered them like flowers
And left the stalks behind.
 
 

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