Departure Delayed

The theme from today’s #30DaysOfSummerWritingChallenge is ‘Flights Delayed.’ And I have a humdinger of a memory to pack into the Poetry Daily. Which, admittedly, is delayed in itself today. Somedays you just need a long lie in. The cloud is low. The precipitation is persistant. Today is a day for me lying low, since the weekend is probably going to be a bit peopley. I need me some serious nose down in a book time today.

The memory stretches back to 2007 when I missed a flight (either due to my own incompetance with online booking, or the website’s issue; perhaps we were both a bit hot flushed.) I had grabbed a cheap transatlantic flight from Knock to surprise my mother by attending her 90th birthday party three weeks after I had visited for my niece’s wedding.What should have been a five day visit doubled when the re-booked flight was repeatedly delayed due to mechanical issues; then Glasgow Airport closed down during a terror attack so no replacement airplanes were on the way. And the airline did not see fit to hire a replacement one Stateside of the Atlantic.It turned into a very expensive ‘budget’ flight. The amount of time I spent hanging around a departure lounge may be the genesis of my extreme dislike of airline travel.


I have laid my head down upon the floor of JFK
and still lived to tell the tale of four days of flight delayed,
the corporate crack up of too small an airline fleet
meets with terror alert in Glasgow. Meaning no seats.
A fellow passenger had a heart attack in the heat.
Bad free airport food. Bad Intel. Bad hotel room. Bad tempers.

An expensive alternative airline flight finally
brought me home.  Our ancient tortoiseshell cat had kept the faith.
She did not die while I was away.
She purred herself out,
departed this world twelve hours home from all delays.
Both liberated, although each took a different route.

Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.

It’s true. I did instruct Sophie Cat not to die while I was away. She was seventeen and she hung in there until she passed on 4th July 2007.

Featured Photo by VanveenJF on Unsplash

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