Judy Brown

Skymap Says We’re Nowhere Near Home

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In Economy’s cramped haul it’s all I ever watch.

Our course is laid on screen before me, a dotted line

miles wide, plotting the next ten dry-eyed hours.

This kind of travel is the loneliest of procedures:

solo-piloting a pale track above computer-graphic

continents.  Across the aisle a blindfold man dreams,

ears cupped to rattling Springsteen.  It’s for me

that the names of India’s cities ride at the horizon;

that a picture aeroplane hauls its cartoon shadow.

Just as I glaze over, the tracking shot pulls back:

the round planet is ribboned in aerial desire paths.

Our destination blinks and spins like a mandala.

Nine hours, eight minutes. Below us, Japan:

its wounded power station close to cracking open.

On someone else’s jumpy screen, grim Clint chews

a cigar.  I’m held by my haloed book, unwrap

my tray-arrayed banquet. Friday the thirteenth:

pray for us, seat-struck, each in our private light.