Why I’ve never been to USA

Sorry, everyone. I can’t see very well these days and am awaiting treatment to one eye after which hopefully I shall tick the right places. Didn’t mean to put it in non-fiction.


I don’t mind sailing and I don’t mind flying

but ocean liners are a prison at sea

and great steel planes anathema to me.

Again and again my brother explained

the aerodynamics of why they fly,

and fly I did, but expecting to die.


So at Plymouth airport on a rainy day,

while flights were off till the rain should stop,

I drank a coffee in the scout hut café,

trying to think of France but not flight

and keep the image of airliners at bay.


And then came the pilot in blue and braid,

called two names and one was mine.

We followed out to the grassy field

more suited to cricket for the local  team

than dicing with death in a flying machine.


So I thought of France and walked along

dreading a journey of two hours long

in that nasty inevitable tube of steel.

Then there on the grass for all the world

like the pictures we saved on cigartette cards

stood a tiny plane with its wings unfurled.


“Are we really  flying to France in that?”

I squawked as I walked in a flood of relief.

The pilot, clutching the wing for support,

rallied enough to make a reply.

His sides were heaving and his eyes were moist,

“Been asked that question many a time

but never in quite that tone of voice.”

© Daffni 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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Firstly, I hope everything goes alright for you with the treatment for your eye.

You describe your fears in great detail in this piece of writing. I can imagine the anxiety you must have felt when talking to the pilot.


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