Posted tagged ‘red onion poem’

Traveling with No Companion But the Person Next to Me

January 18, 2014


Traveling with No Companion But the Person Next to Me

There you are again, your sandwich sprawling red onions–
and I am starved (also a little
repulsed), knowing there will be nothing but “nut mix” mainly wheat mixed
with salt–and you will order water or cranberry juice
and I will feel unable next to you to order a red wine, though so low
even at cruising altitude, that I swore to try that for once, something, anything–
but the thing is
the coat from which you unpocketed your sandwich is nearly identical to an aunt’s
who could never let us spend money
in her presence, much less order wine–and why do you follow me
onto all planes, Aunt Ginny, and you,
Mom, packing the Depression even into my

Yes, I know you’d never eat so many
red onions and you’d never allow
all that mayo, still, there are the bunched sleeves, wrists,
foil unpeeling to crust–nothing I can

You watch your seatback, chewing, while I press everything
to turn off the men
on mine;  how they seem to chortle
above their self-satisfied stubble–but
nothing works–and what makes it worse
is that the only authenticity I can find in the nubbled plastic
at my fore, the scotch-guarded upholstery
at my aft,
even looking for the closest
exit, which just might be
behind, wafts
from those red onions–which are not mine, not mine–
draped in too much

The stewardess’s fringed lashes
warn me to be careful, now,
it’s hot–though the tea bag’s not even in the milky water yet, and
how will it ever brew like that–I hurry
to unwrap it– how will it ever
get strong?


I am a couple of steps behind the game, but here is a draftish poem for Heretomost’s  promptt on With Real Toads to write about a special person on a recurring journey to a special place.  My place is an airplane.