"This is how you are to eat it: with sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand; you shall eat like those who are in flight..."~Exodus 12:11

He lies there till the last split nanosecond--
my son, who needs to catch an early plane--
until I feel like screaming. Curled like a grub,
he pulls the pillow over his head again,
mock victim of my vigilant oppression.

Just chill, he says, I've got this down to a science,
this slapdash dressing for security checks.
The pull-on pants; no belt. The slip-on footwear:
sandals, at twenty degrees outside. I cringe.

He'll need to eat; I offer a couple of donuts.
Waving them off, he grabs a box of crackers
and looks for something to read. With hesitation,
I hand him this morning's paper, its science section
hideous with plagues, and its front page
filled with the sounds of firstborns dying somewhere.
He takes it casually, with a groggy smile.

A ride through blue-black darkness. At the airport,
a crush of cars, of rushed goodbyes, of couples
embracing, of impatient blasts of horn.
Lucky to get a hug, I let him go.
Curbside, he shakes the local snow from his feet,
prophet of his own risk-taking way.
On the seat beside me, the paper he's forgotten.

I think about the way he'll stand in line:
loins girt with sagging elastic, the tall staff
of ski-bag in his hand, his feet in sandals.
Scarfing crackers, in haste, like one who flees.

He shoulders his bags. The glass doors part like seas.

by Maryann Corbett

Maryann Corbett's poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Atlanta Review, The Evansville Review, Measure, The Dark Horse, Mezzo Cammin, and other journals in print and online. Her chapbook Gardening in a Time of War was published in 2007 by Pudding House. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, and works as a legal-writing adviser, editor, and indexer for the Minnesota Legislature.

Photo by Jackie Bernardo Copyright 2008

At the Funeral

I watch an airplane skim the clouds,
a needle tossed in a basket of cotton,
a steel-winged angel. From the crowd,
I watch an airplane skim the clouds,
above the black-clad mourners, bowed
over the stones of the dead, forgotten.
I watch an airplane skim the clouds,
a needle tossed in a basket of cotton.

by Lesley Doyle

Lesley Doyle is a senior at Western Kentucky University, double majoring in literature and creative writing. She is an editor for WKU's student publication, Zephyrus, and has poems forthcoming in Mississippi Crow and Exit 13. She currently lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

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