Aisle Encounter between Scranton and Dallas

By Thomas W. Jodziewicz - Dallas, Texas, USA - 18 February 2015



Aloft, an earthen vessel,
Cramped and hot, a miserable entubing.
Straddling the aisle two seats ahead,
Immune to a contrary gaze
Again, and then again, rocking the cradle
       of the overhead bin
Musing about in the dim above his assigned cell . . .
Washing another pill down.


Heavy, too, obviously weak . . . another obstacle
       to a nearly civilized flight
Trebly annoying,  irritating, goat-like.
[Such a heavy (if required) burden, to be a brother-keeper!]


Between us a hooded figure,
[Reading . . . reading!? a book!?]
But closer, still closer to a self-shadowed page,
[But so odd . . . young, unplugged . . . so kind in not pushing back
       into  purchased space. 
Comfortable amid recognized and rightful privilege,
A noblesse oblige reach to push his unnoticed light above:
But withal restrained . . . buckled . . . folded safely within this neighboring space
In the moment the straddler noticing,
Our eyes now meeting, he reaches quickly, pushes the light;
A simple, shared wonder of light, as he gestures the soft ‘thank you’
       (from beneath the hood) toward me . . . now smaller in this dusk
A whispered Rebuke? unexpected, but graced, shared . . .  
Earthen vessels, aloft.