Our Ground Time Here Will Be Brief

Our Ground Time Here Will Be Brief

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Blue landing lights make
nail holes in the dark.
A fine snow falls. We sit
on the tarmac taking on
the mail, quick freight,
trays of laboratory mice,
coffee and Danish for
the passengers.

Wherever we're going
is Monday morning.
Wherever we're coming from
is Mother's lap.
On the cloud-pack above, strewn
as loosely as parsnip
or celery seeds, lie
the souls of the unborn:

my children's children's
children and their father.
We gather speed for the last run
and lift off into the weather.

— Maxine Kumin

"Our Ground Time Here Will Be Brief" is reprinted from Selected Poems: 1960-1990 by Maxine Kumin. Copyright © 1996 by Maxine Kumin. Posted with permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Home page image: "Wegbereiter Ikarus," print, woodblock on paper, by Wilhelm Geissler, 1966. (Courtesy NASM)

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