a routine check.…six to nine months
lesson in the velocity of stage four cells
the sudden gravity of it thrusts you into the pilot’s seat
navigating crosswinds….struggling to keep him aloft.
ten years ago it was you facing a storm front
pulling out of a nosedive, earning your wings.
milagro the doctors called you.
…..death is proud and holds a grudge.
cabin pressure drops….the engine roars beneath you
maybe we’ll beat this.
…..there’s not always time to file a new flight plan.
the pills make his angular face a soft circle of moon
the chemo takes his hair
you see him still as your love at 19, laying in st augustine grass,
writing names in the clouds
guessing destinations of planes above.
…..how swiftly can a jet fall from the sky?
you hold on…anticipate the moment tires hit runway
the bounce….the screech.
now you worry:
how long before his face disappears from the sky?
© Cheryl Latif
Cheryl Latif emigrated from Southern California to the Pacific Northwest in 2001 to live under skies that speak several languages. Her poems have been in public arts exhibits and published in a variety of journals and anthologies, including New Millennium Writings, The Comstock Review, Spillway, and How Luminous the Wildflowers. A copywriter by trade, she relishes fooling with words.