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Flying to Phoenix

by Christine Bird

Locking the door on winter,
I journey pale,
hoping my arrival will coincide with yours.
Below me mountains wrap the valley
like a mother’s arms.

At cruising speed,
I consider ratios: arc and length, weight and drag,
the physics of flight. Miracles
lost in clouds of everyday indifference
A pilot’s voice interrupts my thoughts warning of turbulence.
I try to imagine him in the dim cockpit
carefully gauging this passage.
I try to image you.

I pass from airport into desert sun
and blink until my eyes catch up
to emerald cuts of winter grass,
glossy oranges
half hidden in thick, citrus leaves,
bright as parrots.

I am here to study you,
child of my child,
to remember the substance of first hours,
to hold the sweet weight of your smallness,
to see me in your eyes