where the private planes teeter in a wind
too weak to lift my hair.
It’s palnted in pleasing lines of geometry
the cross-hatches of an artist’s shading if seen from above
(where I have seen them from the back seat of a Cesna
though my mind was not full of an expansive wonder
whether the flimsy door beside my six year-old son
was firmly closed and adequately latched
keeping him from toppling out and falling to the ground
to flatten the green spikes of late-summer corn.
Is it locked? I asked the pilot again and again.
You’re quite sure that it can’t fly open?
Below us, the patterns of abstract paintings–
Mondrian, Kandinsky, Klee.
Around us, other planes occupied by less anxious sightseers
who don’t believe they are holding themselves aloft
through sheer force of will.
There is a cornfield down by the tree farm
where we hastily select our Chrismas tree
because the wind is not a secret rustle
or a whispering breeze
but a dare
searching for a worthy competitor.
Our neighbor’s children slalom through the evergreens
then disappear inside the wall of corn
sepia now, and stiff with leaves cradling
ears like babies no one wanted.
My son gallops toward the place that swallowed them.
His whole body pivots–
whole, half, quarter, sliver