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  • I left precipitously
    first available flight
    Jo'burg to Atlanta
    I had two hours
    By the time the tickets were confirmed

    Did the dishes
    Emptied the fridge
    Left food for the cat
    Tidied up enough
    And then away

    My father in the hospital
    my mother hanging on and in
    family clustered in limbo's waiting rooms
    If you go towards a good-bye.
    Towards a last time to hold hands tight.
    Towards the last hug.

    What is that then but
    a moment
    a knowing
    a memory

    And then back again

    The winds were with us this time
    The pilot brought us into Atlanta almost an hour early
    We arrived before cutoms opened
    The pilot apologized
    They had to keep us locked in until we could be processed

    By that time several flights were lined up at the gates
    A thousand and more, all inbetween and disconnected
    Customs and security staff herding us
    Compliant as cattle in their chutes
    Modern zombies
    Anxious for daylight and a first cup of real coffee
    To bring us back to life

    I walked through the sprawling terminals
    My next flight was a couple of miles away
    Empty echoing polished halls
    Only the music and the morning news presenters
    Peaking on their daily dose of cheerful pills
    Bantering back and forth from monitors in empty gates and halls

    As I drink a first and welcome latte
    I think how much nature invests in scattering seeds
    How much we count on gathering them in again
    How families grow and familes flower
    and families wander out and wide
    and then return
    and how it all flows like breath
    in and out again

    Blow upon the dandelion
    Let the seeds fly in the wind
    So we hold
    So we fly
    So we grow again
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