Take Heart 27 July 2011

Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2011 in Culture

Take Heart 27 July 2011

a conversation in poetry edited and selected by Wesley McNair

Who hasn’t been dispirited by today’s air travel? Yet the experience brings happiness to Kristen Lindquist of Camden. Her uplifting poem shows what the rest of us may have missed.



by Kristen Lindquist


Everyone in O’Hare is happy today.

Sun shines benevolently

onto glorious packaged snack foods

and racks of Bulls T-shirts.

My plane was twenty minutes early.

Even before I descend into the trippy light show

of the walkway between terminals,

I am ecstatic. I can’t stop smiling.

On my flight we saw Niagara Falls

and Middle America green and gold below.

Passengers thanked the pilot for his smooth landing

with such gratitude that I too

thanked him, with sudden and wholehearted sincerity.

A group of schoolchildren passes on the escalator,

and I want to ask where they’re going.

Tell me your story, I want to say.

This is life in motion.

A young couple embraces tearfully at a gate;

she’s leaving, he’s not.

How can I bring this new self back to you, intact?

He yells to her departing back,

“Hey, I like the way you move!”

Any kind of love seems possible.

We walk through this light together.

So what if it’s an airport?

So what if it won’t last?




Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2001 by Kristen Lindquist. Reprinted from Invocation to the Birds, Oyster River Press, 2001, by permission of Kristen Lindquist. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to David Turner, special assistant to the Maine poet laureate, at poetlaureate@mainewriters.org or (207) 228-8263.  

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