First Flight

First Flight

They said good-bye without
waiting for the plane to take off,
without waiting for me to board.
I was adrift then,
a baby bird, jet
or even a single


I buckled in, watched closely
as the crew explained procedures;
listened as the jet engines
rumbled and purred;
thrilled as the power gathered
beneath me;
gazed out the window
in awe

as my world both shrank and



Note: This poem was written a couple of months ago but recalls a memory from decades past. My first flight was at the age of 21; I flew across the Atlantic from Cleveland, Ohio, United States to London, England. My parents dropped me off at the airport and said, essentially, “Well, there you are! Good luck.” They didn’t even wait to watch me board the plane.

I will never forget the feeling of security that I felt, though, watching the flight crew explain safety procedures. They seemed so competent! I felt safe and well-taken care of. I will also never forget the sense of power as the plane took off. It’s a sensation that has thrilled and delighted me ever since. Even after having two friends die in a plane crash, I could not bring myself to give up flying. I have even tried to make myself afraid on a flight; I was simply unable to conjure the fear.


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