Tomorrow I head off to Chicago (where, incidentally, for anyone who is interested, I will be apppearing at The Bookstall in Winnetka tomorrow night at 7 PM, and at Anderson's in Naperville at 7 PM Thursday night)
Preparing for a trip made me pause, in my daily browsing of poetry, at a poem called "At the Airport" by Howard Nemerov. I know I once quoted an airport poem by Billy Collins...and more reently, one by Mary Oliver. Here is Nemerov's contribution to the oeuvre:
AT THE AIRPORT
Through the gate, where nowhere and night begin,
A hundred suddenly appear and lose
Themselves in the hot and crowded waiting room.
A hundred other herd up toward the gate,
Patiently waiting that the way be opened
To nowhere and night, while a voice recites
The intermittent litany of numbers
And the holy names of distant destinations.
None going out can be certain of getting there.
None getting there can be certain of being loved
Enough. But they are sealed in the silver tube
And lifted to be fed and cosseted,
While their upholstered cell of warmth and light
Shatters the darkness, nether here nor there.