Mechanical Failure


By John Eisner

if you can leave yourself

just for a moment

you will see them trotting

thru glass held corridors

they pull black bags on wheels

moving only forward

away from longing towards regret

strangers to each other

they laugh at misunderstood jokes

sharing a camaraderie of purpose only

they filter into view from

the unseen to seen

sit and eat your jelly sandwich

with an eye to your luggage

watch with fascination as they pass

you can’t see you,

although the glass between is clear

you could know one of them

or know them all

they are you on a different day

the frozen stare

the longed for omnipotence

the same wing beating anguish

announcements are made here

not mistakes

especially ones that cause

the loss of life

every step must be guarded here

every step taken at your own risk

there are no apologies here

icy smiles only of

veiled contempt

smug with the knowledge that

you could be detained here

to walk endless hallways

seeking absolution

while your flight continues to be

delayed indefinitely

John Eisner, a builder, raised two children with his wife Maureen on the Island in the 1970s. Recently returned from 3½ years in Mexico, he now lives year-round in Chilmark in a just-completed new home.