poems as hand- and foot-holds on a glass mountain

On Taking Off

Settling into a window seat
one story up from the tarmac
while other passengers file in
we’re behind a wing so will observe
our common-sense planet from inner space
not high enough to see if it’s round
as almost everyone now believes

Believing what everyone else believes
makes us ripe for flights of doubt
a middle way held in place by quarreling contraries
of belief and disbelief as evolutionary pre-thought
that waits to see clearly without instruction

Takeoff feels like being shot out of a cannon
and suggests a cannon-ball landing
we remember a child running toward the end
of a diving board
leaping out over the pool clutching knees to chest
waiting for the sheer delight of impact
the water hard at first then softening, accepting
as if it were playing along
with this land-creature’s water adventure
where they both knew it didn’t belong

To survivors of a thousand flights
the ground becomes harder and flatter;
they wonder why having seen it
from the sheer un-likeness of soft air
at altitude hardened earth-like by their speed
seen crawling past them below
brown, river-marked
seen from a hedge of doubt
between rival qualifiers and dis-qualifiers
who fall away at altitude
seen in glittering, floating clarity
however briefly without instruction

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