THERE'S A STRANGE GRAY CLOUD IN THE OTHERWISE
by Mather Schneider
black curls of the stewardess.
The man who insisted on my window seat
now shuts the window blind
and does a pencil puzzle.
I can't see the earth.
The woman across the aisle
tells me her name is Sylvia
then returns to her yellow marker
and self-help book.
The man to my left and I get acquainted
through the strained dialogue
of our elbows.
A power-suited woman stops scrolling
her laptop numbers and looks up
like a startled child.
In the thick corporate air of first class:
thousand buck suits
stuffed with dollar store men.
A college girl walks by
in sweat pants with “JUICY” on the ass.
Two shawled women a couple rows up
plan a seating arrangement for a country club luncheon
while their colonoscopy-faced husbands bitch
about layovers and Oban hangovers.
Odors of fingernail polish
luggage and baby powder
linger in the reconstituted air.
A little girl somewhere sings
“If You’re Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hands ”
all by herself.
A kid throws a tantrum somewhere
and while I understand,
I want to smack him anyway.
Even with wings shaking
eyes stay riveted
to sky mall magazines.
The beverage cart moves down the aisle
giving last rites.
Mather Schneider has a book, Drought Resistant Strain, forthcoming by Interior Noise.