The Year of Risk

Piper PA-28R-201 Arrow (drawing by author).

“Inspiration needs the ground
of dissatisfaction,” you write
On the back of an airline magazine.

I was never very good
At tempering danger with reality
And you say no one who knows how

Is very much worth knowing.
We write back and forth this way,
Careful not to awaken the fellow

Passengers, yes, but these quiet 3 a.m.
Dispatches about errands, surgeries,
Frigid weather, inhospitable

Relatives are still the essential kind.
To see the glimmers of a bright
Attitude in you, the promise of care,

My inner Mussolini is vanquished,
The grit that clenches the teeth in a
Witch’s grasp loosens and as the aviator

Of this airship of optimism announces
The coast of some Atlantis beneath we ignore it
And keep moving on the icy streets of our

Little town. “Be careful,” you say,
“That puddle has completely frozen.
Take care to land with discretion.”