Photo: NARA, 1973
Jane Kenyon’s poem “At a Motel Near O’Hare Airport” appeared in our Winter 1975 issue.
I sit by the window all morningwatching the planes make final approaches.Each of them gathers and steadies itselflike a horse clearing a jump.
I look up to see them pass,so close I can see the rivetson their bellies, and under their wings,and at first I feel ashamed,as if I had looked up a woman’s skirt.
How beautiful that one is,slim-bodied and delicateas a fox, poised and intenton stealing a chickenfrom a farmyard.
And now a larger one, itstail shaped like a whale’s.They call it soundingwhen a whale dives,and the tail comes out of the waterand flashes in the lightbefore going under
Here comes a 747,slower than the rest,phenomenal; like some hugebasketball playerclearing space for himselfunder the basket.
How wonderful to be that bigand to fly through the air,and to make so great a shadowin the parking lot of a motel.
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