by Scott Poole
The first movement was walking, so people walked.
Then came the car, so the population drove.
Later arrived the airplane, and people filled airports and flew.
To walk costs almost nothing.
Driving is a higher commitment to a budget of gas,
insurance, cleaning, and repairs, yet the common man
can manage it.
Flying is the most expensive of all, only a few
own a plane, and it's consider a luxury to just buy a ticket.
If you fall while walking, you can expect one person, if any,
usually someone who loves you, to help you
up off your bleeding knees.
If you crash your car you can expect a crowd,
bystanders, an ambulance, paramedics and police.
But if you crash a plane,
thousands will rush in,
to help if they can, to know why
and soon the world knows and anyone
and everyone will wade through blood and jet fuel to help.
Workers, proud to be chosen, are assigned to pick each piece up,
then catalog it. No expense is spared, when cleaning
a plane crash, and the world gives freely to it. And if a single man
falls while searching the rubble for parts
there is always more than one person there to pick him up.
It's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, the way
they brush him off, stand him up, and wait a second
to make sure he doesn't stumble again.
©2001 by Scott Poole
Scott Poole is the Assistant Director of EWU Press. His first book of
poetry, The Cheap Seats (Lost Horse 1999) was a finalist for Foreword Magazine's book of the year awards. He reads his work every Monday
at 7:50 a.m. on KPBX, Spokane Public Radio, which can also be heard live at KPBX Listen Online. His second book of poetry, Hiding From Salesmen, is
forthcoming from Lost Horse Press in 2002. See more of his work at his Web site, and in Slow Trains Issue 1.