Layover in O'Hare
In this neoromanesque
postmodern cathedral
the ritual is not communion
but distraction--
the inability to hold
a single thought
past seven seconds.
The vaulted dome
is aquamarine,
and rows of tinted glass
filter out the light 
as planes taxi by
and the TV chatters
temps, time and weather 
for all the major cities.
Captains and flight crews
appear, then disappear,
as purposeful as priests
and as mysterious;
while window washers goof off
thumbing through 
abandoned copies
of USA Today . . .
But for the knot of us
caught incommunicado,
today has no meaning--
unsure of what to do
with ourselves,
we glance at the tube
skim bestsellers
or glare blankly at the runway . . .
until CNN repeats
the same "breaking" news:
a basketball coach is fired,
tropical storm Rosa 
builds off Mexico--
and all the time
new arrivals
stumble through
pushing baggage-buggies
and baby-carriages--
while we sit here, purgatorial,
awaiting departure
and the blessed gate
to take us skyward.



copyright 2001 Phoebe Claire Publishing, LLC  All rights reserved