IN KANSAS SKIES
Past and future stored away
Under seat and overhead,
Arranged by letter, row, and tray,
Between gray dawn and solid morning,
Our avatars display no dread.
The instruments could not be clearer:
All systems go, no signs of warning.
In Kansas skies the fuselage
Is buffeted by turbulence.
The window’s oval (wing and prop)
Fogs like an enchanted mirror —
Then lightning hits us and we drop
Electrified with holy terror
Under the thunder’s blank barrage.
Stripped of screens, of pads and pods,
The subtle thread of time unravels
In shrunken space that leaves the will
Cornered, graceless, forced to be still,
Forced into line to be destroyed.
It dawns on us we’re doomed if God’s
Native mercy never travels
Faster than the falling odds
Or fastened to the frames of sense.
But now the pilot’s voice relates
An unexpected confidence;
Instructed by the elements
And intimacy with the fates,
He steers a passage through the void —
Delivering our names and dates.