Poetry: Thanksgiving | clivejames.com
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In the departure lounge, the sky
fades to dark, the colours running away.
When the lights go down I’m looking out
over the wing, the arc of the land.
We fly past dawn — beside me
the guy who’s carried on his whole
case watches Macy’s parade on TV, and waits
sleepless, for his quick get away. We’re almost there
before I’m awake, fixed to my tiny screen,
the channel with the blue sea and green land
and a red crayon seam to be sewn.
Skirting past Saint John, the furthest non-Alaskan tip,
hovering at 38,000 feet
the cartoon plane is out of time, pulsing on,
reappearing further than Lake Moosehead,
Timmins, Montreal, before dipping south — city
by city the eastern seaboard,
Boston, Providence, falls away off the map. Oslo,
London, Paris, Algiers flash back as if to say
Look how far we have come, look how easy it is to go.
Shut your eyes, with one finger choose where
and with who
— this day should be gone,
a ghost of a time, but let down softly
to have another try, however close to the sun
we have flown, red eyed and stiff limbed
in the afternoon dusk, it almost sounds true.