Strangers on a plane

Nothing brings strangers together
like a crying, screaming child
on a plane:
The smirky glances,
the craned necks,
the shared smiles,
all bonding people with a similar plight –
making light of a loud situation.

For a recording of the experience click here.
Roles are assumed:
The Rogue in 25E laments his lack of duct tape.
(General, muffled, laughter)
Reveling in his triumph he tries again falling flat,
his reign as group comedian is over.
The compassionate grandmotherly type wanting to help,
straining against restraint to see over the rows of seats
her calming hands lonely to sooth.
The irritated business man wishing for a different seat
looks in vain at the full rows.
The attendant with her annoyed smile offering,
distracting, but wanting to be home.
The baseball capped youths laughing,
elbowing, poking. ear buds dripping
down their hooded sweatshirts.
All are reacting differently to
the insistent child who,
has just discovered,
and is now proclaiming
this world to be a place
that isn’t fair.
Welcome, young brat.
The indulgent mother, finally paying her dues,
finding herself doing the hard parenting
best done in private,
now done in public
before this group,
this group of strangers
brought together
if only for a short while.

For takeoff will come
and the bell will chime
allowing the child
freedom from his belt
his constrained yelp
now free to fade.
Lesson not learned,
It will return.

To hear a clip of the experience click here

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