Friday, September 2, 2011

signals, pt. 2

Airport Diary

Almost a Cardinal

Morning Light

Making a Fence

Frog Monument

Sweet Corn

Cleveland Road

The Same Radio

Dyed Flowers

Ohio Fairy Tale

6:30 A.M

The Big Birdhouse

The Glenn Miller Orchestra

Airport Diary


5:30 A.M taxi ride to airport, freezing cold in cab

until I see beautiful Mt. Rainier in morning sunlight.

Driver from Eastern Europe mentions it was

a French captain who named the mountain.

“He was a long way from France,” I said.

“When I was a seaman,” he said, “There’s an island

in the Caribbean where Napoleon’s wife lived.”

“Right,” I remembered, “Martinique.”

“Yes!” He was in a good mood after that,

pulling into the airport, “Have a good flight.

In two months, I go back to Romania!”


A long flight…We passed over Ohio. The plane

took us in turbulence to land in Washington D.C.

The place is filled with teenagers wearing

Army backpacks being sent off to the wars.

Reminds me of that island in Pinocchio.

Overheard one boy say, “I wonder if they’ll

have escalators where we’re going.”

We were supposed to leave in a half hour,

but the airport shut down because of

thunder and lightning. We stand in a line

with hundreds of other stranded people for

over 3 hours, only to find out our next flight

is tomorrow at 6:30 A.M. The red digital

wall clock is stuck on 8:88. Fortunately,

we get a sleeping tip—at Gate D-26

there are couches without armrest dividers.

Airport camping, an ideal spot, we have

a bathroom nearby, a water fountain and



There was also non-stop vacuuming

for five hours, freezing air conditioning

and a TV blaring the news constantly.

Sleeping in ten minute intervals,

face creased by the cushion seams.

At 4 A.M, I finally open the abandoned

American Airlines cabinet and discovered

pillows and blankets. They helped.

When we broke camp at 5:30 A.M

to catch the plane for Chicago,

I was reminded it was my birthday.


Tears and more turbulence.

Our son threw up in my hands

on the way to land. Chicago airport

does have a great brachiosaurus

skeleton, a dinosaur dead for

millions of years towering in

the midst of travelers running

to their planes. For years now

I’ve been wondering about this

air travel business, watching as

the comfort and ease of it

disappears, these great iron birds

are on their way out. Soon they’ll be

entombed on the flat tarmacs,

pressed between layers of dust

and concrete, just as extinct as

that big dinosaur.


Two days of airports, twice going

right over Ohio, missing it. Finally,

after 3 airplanes, we land in Cleveland

at noon. Met with a balloon, flowers

and handed a pinwheel. Out in the car

Ann has a bag of farm fresh peaches.


Almost a Cardinal

Heard a cardinal

only see a red rose


Morning Light

Turn off

the nightlight

morning fills

the bathroom

Making a Fence

Working outside

distracted by words

in my head

Frog Monument

Cover the dead frog

with flowers and a leaf

knowing that now

life is flashing

from this spot

Sweet Corn

Corn grown

in the background

sold on the table

beside the road

Cleveland Road

Lotus grow in the pond

beside the busy road

watching from the car

the air conditioner on

a white egret lands

sinking in flowers

The Same Radio

Open the window

the moon spins

like a record

Ohio music


a train

hurrying to

another town

Dyed Flowers


drain down

long stems

turn the water


Ohio Fairy Tale

Dear Jill, Will you be my girl?

spray painted on the wall

beside a field of Queen Ann lace

6:30 A.M

On sand

where a heron

stood watching

the sun

The Big Birdhouse

The house is filled with birds

It’s best to find a quiet room

The Glenn Miller Orchestra

In small print on page 14

The Glenn Miller Orchestra

will be in Cleveland next week.

After all these years out of sight

they wash ashore on Lake Erie

suits filled with sand

holding up instruments

with the water pouring out.

They play two shows

in the ballroom at 6 & 9

then return to the waves

where the depths will shut

around and take them back.

signals photo and writing:
allen frost

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