That night when the plane droned in circles

over Indiana, waiting for permission to land,

the captain coming on every half-hour

or so to promise it would soon be our turn,

a child whining fitfully several rows back,

print in my book growing smaller by the minute,


that’s what it feels like this afternoon: lead air

salted with colorless flakes lashed slantwise;

spruce trees muffled in dead weight, bewildered

limbs trembling; no plow, no mail, no news.


Merrill Oliver Douglas makes her living as a freelance writer. She has published poems in Crab Creek Review, South 85 Journal, IthacaLit, Baltimore Review, Barrow Street, Tar River Poetry, and Stone Canoe, among other journals.

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