We have watched the gritty films
of first attempts, strange machines
leaping apoplectic from the solid earth
to land with the sudden thud of failure.
Yet history saw fit to lift the wings at
Kitty Hawk and lead us here. We know
the science, but we must believe in luck
to trust the pilot with our fate, to tuck
the small pillow beneath our heads, to
lock the tiny tray in the upright position
and lean back, somehow certain of how
it succeeds, how the recycled air mingles
the atoms of strangers into breath, how
our ears fill and mute the maybes of
the coming miles, how we buckle in
for hours over the wild Atlantic, tethered
to the sky by some unseen cord, how we
take for granted it will not fray or break.
Donna Vorreyer is a middle school teacher and poet from the Chicago area. Her work has appeared in many journals, most recently in Rhino, Weave, qarrtsiluni, Whale Sound, Mixed Fruit, and River Oak Review. She is co-contributor to the blog Voice Alpha and also blogs about poetry and writing at Put Words Together. Make Meaning.