Saturday 4 November 2023

Long Haul

Whilst back to creativity and the latest poetry zoom with Sara-Jane Arbury, I still hadn't shaken off my trip when we were asked to write a poem about the passing of time.

(c) Eva Darron  (Unsplash)

Long Haul

The seatbelt sign
flickers as all around
settle into their seats. 
The clunking sound of
metal into metal.
Searching the inflight
entertainment for something
to while away the hours. 

Various announcements. 
No smoking, no vaping, no
lying on the floor.
No children’s blow up beds.

The meal is served.  Saving the planet
with bamboo knives and forks. 
But drinks in single use plastic cups.

Darkness falls.  The lights turned low
apart from the flickering
of numerous seatback screens. 
The lady across the aisle
seems to be watching the screen
of the person sitting in front of me.

After three films I try to sleep,
jealous of those who snore, softly,
open-mouthed for hours.  I manage
twenty minutes.

I walk up one aisle and down
the other, past the sleeping beauties
and the shining screens,
shadow actors playing out
their silent scenes.

Lights, action, breakfast.
Of course it could be lunchtime.
It must be somewhere in the world.
But after seven time zones
who knows what time it is.

The cabin crew decree it’s breakfast time,
although spinach and fetta slice
doesn’t sound like breakfast to me.

Slowly the chattering of passengers rises
almost drowning out the loud
that signals
wheels down.

The crew sit down, no longer moving
through the cabin.  Strapped in,
leaning back, as
the ground rushes up to meet us.

The engines howl
as they are thrust into reverse.
The plane lands awkwardly veering
slightly left and right.
Will there be enough runway?

Sighs of relief as the plane comes
to a standstill.  Seatbelt sign off.
A rush to reach bags stowed
in overhead lockers.  Why do we do that? 
It takes so long for steps
and collecting cases in baggage reclaim.

But after seventeen hours trapped
in a metal tube, we want to escape
and finally reach our destination.

Thanks for joining me today


  1. I love your description of long haul flying. I too am never one of the sleeping beauties!


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