A Fragile View

Peeking through my window at 32k feet,
the Earth is a majestic carpet
of pale sages and burnt siennas.
Drapes and folds pile together
into towering mounds of rock and ice
or recede into valleys and endless plains
on which I leave no shadow.
Glaciers crest ridges
and cascade into creeks and rivers
that carve the canyon below.
From here, the lakes are pristine
fonts of life in the wilderness.

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The barren hills drift by the car window
as I stare at the bleak grey of the sunless sky.
My husband follows the rise and swell of the road’s contours.

I think of all the would-be children
I could have had, before now,
before this man beside me,
the scraped knees, slobbery kisses,
the parade of mothers’ days with too runny yolks,
falsely bright and staining the toast
like a broken promise.
My children that never were.

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