Steady as She Flies

What would it be like to be a flying machine? This week’s Tweetspeak Poetry prompt challenges the poet to write from an airborn structure’s perspective, inspired by animation. I revived a memory of flying over Mt. St. Helens with my husband, a private pilot, in a sturdy Cessna Skylane 182. But I wondered if the rattles I felt in the back seat were telling of the plane’s truer self.

My aluminum skeleton misleads.

The student pilots me

Over Columbia’s Gorge,

Falls, dams, and currents,

Toward peaks.

I appear steady

Like all Skylanes.

(Cessna, no less!)

182s hold up a reputation:


If I were a pony, I’d revel

In passengers’

Oos and awws

Over Hood and Olympia:

Blue cones upturned, dripping snow

As ice cream.

The McCauley propels us

As though we could cruise constant,


Equine dream aside,

I’m alloy and aircraft.

A sleek bulk with something to hide.


The instructor takes the yoke.

Student and wife rider click shots

Of Helen.



We circle close to her crater.

A blanket of cream

Cannot hide her lava from me.

“Look at the trails up her side! Snow tracks!” wife exclaims.

Don’t they know?

Blasted humans!

They love to peer

Into death

And fly away with an experience.


They hop out of my belly,

Feet hit tarmack

Scot free.

They could not hear my horse heart rattle,

Nor landing gear whinny in relief

When wheels skid home with a screech.

A kiss to my ears

(if I had them.)

My boldness in pinstripes fools,


I fly as steady as I lie.

New Series

What’s Next? Uncovering Joy in Uncertain Times starts Monday on the blog. It’s a 5-week series to help us face doubts, ask honest questions, and discover hidden gladness when life feels unpredictable. Who doesn’t need more of that?


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August 25, 2017