My plane is airborne, headed south.
Memories march in and out of my mind–
like dogface soldiers.
I’d said goodbye to Mama, then Daddy,
who bent to hug my three year old son
not very long ago.
Emotion struck Daddy like blows.
He straightened, then turned too late
to hide moist eyes. His blue eyes had
laughed when I was my son’s age.
Youth disappears like the dandelion fuzz
on the face of the wind.
Adams Field is windy . . . but the
planes’ wheels touch the runway
in a smooth landing.
“No, son, Papa’s not here . . .
to meet us.”
Uncle Jim’s brown pickup needs washing.
“Your mama’s taking it bad, ” he tells me.
“Is the wake at the house?” I ask.
He nods. “Like your daddy wanted.”
At the doorway, someone takes my
little boy by the hand.
“The casket’s gray. I never saw Daddy
in a coat and tie before. He’s so cold-looking.
Her warm arms engulf me.
© 2017 Freeda Baker Nichols