Monday, July 1, 2013


Dust devils lifted debris and spattered it against the white curvature of the old airplane, scouring fresh glistening scars deep into the aluminum skin. The plane trembled in the gust, remembering trundling across sun-melted tarmac at IQT, wheels clinging to stickyhot macadam, air painfully thin, racing faster and faster, grasping for lift. It remembered sliding sideways toward DCA, buffeted by swirling winds over the Potomac, racing caustic gulls to the runway. It remembered the triumph of thrust overcoming gravity, climbing skyward into deepening cerulean, clouds streaming from the tips of its wings in delicate evaporating vortices.

Elsewhere in the boneyard, carcasses of stripped aircraft shuddered, open fuselages groaning and warping. Moans were pulled from desecrated machines as wind whipped through torn skin, giving voice to the remainders.

The plane remembered flying over a kite festival not far from PEK, sneering at the pitiful “aircraft” bobbing without power in the slightest breeze, tethered to people even further below. With thundering screaming engines it had conquered the sky, chasing the sun and watching the Earth fall away in an endless shining curve.

Thunderheads gathered, sweeping air before them in bursts that swirled into a gale that beat against the old craft. It remembered the kites, dancing on the slightest breeze. It remembered lift. It remembered flying. It quivered, balancing delicately on time-softened tires, and then, ever so slightly, the nose rose. The wind gusted again, harder, pushing. Lifting. The nose rose again, higher. The plane tilted upward, wind caressing its wings, sliding past the scars of amputated engines, flowing over ailerons and stabilizers, elevators and flaps and gifting them with renewed purpose. The plane lifted, reaching. It twisted into the storm, holding steady, waiting, waiting for a cyclone to tear it free again from gravity.

Days later the plane sat, still balanced on rear wheels and tail, nose pointed skyward. It waited. It remembered.

prompted by this video: skyward

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful! You have breathed life into an old, discarded heap of metal and made me feel pity for its sad, silver soul.