Flying by night,
stars floating in waves above us
like the prairie towns beneath our wings
and our captain, silent,
so we may hear the soft lapping
of years against the bright metal,
the distant voices crying
I knew you, I knew you;
the gods chuckling at our passage.
Silent, so we may think of depths
and the fragility of our craft.
So we may think of
the lives down there in the little towns,
the folding chairs of meeting rooms,
the all-night laundromats and
the lonely folding of blue shirts,
the folded hands of the faithful and
the flags folded in neat triangles,
the here's-to-ya last call toasting,
the dreams of newsboys;
their red bicycles under the stars.
- Ralph Murre
first appeared in Free Verse