Delta Flight

I had my feet up on a couch at JFK, looking at the toes of my Airs

While we waited to see which plane

would take us far away

The hump-backed 747’s were lined up outside

one smaller jet in the middle

We were to fly all night across the sea

to a country that was new to me,

a place I had avoided until now.

Vienna calling, Falco said.

And how.

The UMD singers, my daughter in their midst

my future son-in-law

my younger son came with

as a chaperone, no less

He could out-party all the rest

And so the time dragged by

I squeezed a world-design stress ball

and watched the sky

At last we boarded, and you should see

the face I must have made as we passed by

the giant planes and ended up in a

two-engine miniature

Austrian Airlines, you see,

is run by Delta too…

I settled into a window seat over the wing,

heavy with foreboding

we need at least three engines for the

November turbulence over the

North-Atlantic

Just then the cabin was filled with

another company of youngsters,

A band of cheerleaders from various schools

in uniform

pom-poms slammed into overheads

squealing and yelling far above

the more measured choir tones.

We took off into the night sky

That looks like Long Island, I sigh

Just about over Center Moriches

the plane began to shudder and pitch

We’re in for quite a ride…

For four hours we lunged around the sky

Dames und Herren, you are about to die

I kept hearing in my head

The wings flapped like a bird

I didn’t know they could do that

And with every thunderous settling as we

staggered across the sky

the cheerleaders shrieked and yelled

with voices pitched so high

they could have strangled themselves…

But with each garbled announcement

we climbed a thousand feet

Not one of us stopped to wonder

when we would ever eat

But finally we rose above the fractured waves of air

and saw the lights of parallel flights

we might make it there

after all

The stewards brought mystery meat

which I could not digest the thought of

much less the actuality

I did not have the courage to get up and stretch

so sat numbly the rest of the nine hour ride

We gave a great cheer as we landed in a foggy soup

And as we waited to depart

a Mozart piece tugged at my heart

playing softly through the intercom

A Salzburg piece, a divertimento

pure and sweet

and all at once I knew

this just might be the start of our

historic dream come true.

If only I could find a place to pee!

My daughter guarded the men’s room for me,

We’d seen it first, I could not wait

such was our fate

I heard that piece in my head again today

And wept for all the heartache that has come our way

since then

and also wondered if anyone had really cried

for what happened to Wolfgang Mozart

when he died.

It may be that a Minnegeddon is here

and that we have by now all learned to fear

an unknown judgment from

the evil of those days

A nation he never knew must justify

the way it treated him

And only God can tell

if we are headed into Heaven or to Hell…

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