by Dawn Dupler
A dart pierced my gut but I rolled onto my left side and waited for the cramp to stop. You unlace your shoes and place them with your keys in a plastic tray. I spot then run for the door. A man with a name tag examines one person then another then another. A woman’s voice announces flights and someone tells me I’m next as soon as I sign papers. You set your seat straight and thumb through a Vanity Fair while an unknown figure says, “relax,” and puts my legs up. Would you like a pillow? You ask for a Bloody Mary and I pray for blood to stop. If you soak more than four pads in an hour come back soon and have a safe trip wherever your journey takes you. The pilot aborts the first pass at a landing as easily as does my second pulse. Some people arrive safely while others barely make it home, shed their clothes like they are on fire, scream and expel a bloodied fist that lands on the carpet. You return at night with your bag knowing what you need to know. You unpack. My plastic bag will be examined in the morning and till then it sits in the refrigerator where I will never go again.
"Aborted Landing" appears in the spring 2011 issue of Chiron Review and is reprinted here with the author's permission. Visit Chiron Review at www.chironreview.com.
Dawn Dupler is a prize winner of Missouri’s Big River Writing Contest. Her poetry and fiction can be found or are forthcoming in Chiron Review, Cuivre River Anthology V, Whiskey Island Magazine, Bad Shoe, Blue Earth Review, and others. She earned her MFA in Writing from Lindenwood University. She teaches Composition at Vatterott College.
Also available at http://lumfa.webs.com/featuredpoem.htm.