The man above me on this escalator
Is wearing a hat that matches
The purple flashing walls which
Soar around us.
He looks nervous,
His expression reads,
“My backpack is too tight on my arms
And everybody around me can see”
But that’s not what I notice
About this hatted man–
That’s not what I see.

I glance at the ticket clutched in his palm
The one that reads Tokyo
Or Tongo or Toronto
The way he folds the paper in between his fingers
Makes it hard to read.
I see he has studied this ticket
To learn the fabric which
Houses his fate—
And indeed have I studied my own
Length of paper
Which remains clutched in my fingers.

He and I are on a journey
Up this escalator and onto the runway
And neither of us are certain or sure
Where the plane will take us when we get there.
All that we know,
This hatted man and I,
Is the ticket that folds in this gripping hand
Will change our destiny.

What do you do when the world shifts beneath you?

What can you do?

I could be mistaken–
I’ve only just started–
But I think all you can do
Is hold on to the railing.
To admire the colors
And the view and the people.
To do your best to show up on time
Or miss the flight

And miss out on life.


The reader brings his or her own experience to the poem and creates meaning. Here is my experience.

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