Keep Your Baggage

This is a security announcement:
Keep your bags with you at all times.
Report all suspicious activities.
Use the white security phones.

No scissors,
no clippers,
no lighters,
no knives

Don’t joke about bombs,
it’s a federal crime. You will be
prosecuted. Have your ID ready.

Shoes off.
Step forward.
Arms up.
Pff, pff.

Now loading at Gate 14A,
show your boarding pass.
Find a seat, enjoy
100-calorie snack packs.
We no longer provide plastic
forks. Cocktails $4. We’ll
keep the change. Your safety
is our first concern.

Put trays in the upright, locked position.
Turn off electronic devices.
Don’t stand in the forward
portion of the aircraft.
Fasten seat belts.

El asiento es para flotar,
use for a water landing.

Flying on September 11, five years later, waiting,
bottom cupped in plastic seat, legs cross, uncross.
News headlines offer: “Seared Memories,”
“3,000 lives lost and all we’ve got is a hole in the ground.”

Names of the dead read aloud. Drop by drop,
on airport monitors. Crying kids, wilted flowers,
bells toll, rain spatters. Cross winds.
Rough landing. Welcome to Baltimore!

Check overhead bins.
Take all your belongings.
Women and children first.
Don’t push.
Don’t shove.
Don’t forget your umbrellas.

This is a security announcement:
White zones are for loading and
unloading passengers. Keep your
bags with you at all times.

Published by Kate Campbell

Writer, editor, photographer, novelist, short story writer, poet.

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