From my window seat on the starboard side
I see three aircraft ahead where the taxiway
curves like a shepherd’s crook to the takeoff point.
My new beginning twists all the preparation
and waiting into a coil of anticipation,
pressed down like a jack-in-the-box,
eager to let go at the next turn of the crank.

I try not to show the boyish wonder I still feel
about flying, the weight of many elephants
lifted so easily from the Earth. Not that it’s a mystery.
The laws of physics tell us, get air moving fast enough
over a well-shaped wing, it has to rise. Funny,
most of my youth I thought planes flew because
of the air pushing up from underneath, like in the song
Wind Beneath My Wings. The truth is found
in wind tunnels and those artist’s renderings
of air flow–smoky curlicues over the top
of the wing, pulling up on the aircraft
like a vacuum cleaner grabbing a paper plate.

Taken for granted, like the fact of eyes opening
in the morning, of breath still coming in, going out,
the wheels lift, the airplane blooms into flight,
predictable, miraculous.

Photo by Laura Locke

Richard Allen Taylor

About Richard Allen Taylor

Richard Allen Taylor of Charlotte, NC, is the author of Something to Read on the Plane (2004), Punching Through the Egg of Space (2010), and Armed and Luminous (2016) published by Main Street Rag Publishing Company. His poems, articles and reviews have appeared in Rattle, Comstock Review, The Pedestal, Iodine Poetry Journal, Wild Goose Poetry Review, Asheville Poetry Review and South Carolina Review, among others. A founding editor of Kakalak, Taylor currently serves as review editor for The Main Street Rag literary magazine. In 2015, he earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte.
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3 Responses to Takeoff

  1. Tom Taylor says:

    Good stuff! I have always considered it a miracle after each takeoff and landing!

  2. Terresa Haskew says:

    Well done!!! Makes me smile.

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