NO FEAR OF FLYING
for Paul Mitchell
Cinderblock halls were your
The classroom door closes,
Cruising now at approximately 1200 AD,
we see below,
through clouds that look like
the noble Nevsky charging
across the ice,
the Teutonic hosts retreat!
Holy Mother Russia saved!
The clouds peel back.
A great blue vault encloses
the vast golden steppe.
A million serfs stoop to
sharpen their scythes, and squint
toward the sound of hoofbeats
from the east.
We bank to the right, and
watch in horror as Ivan Grosny--"the terrible one"--
massacres enemies of the state in
gruesome rehearsals of what's to come.
We fly on to Tsarskoye Selo.
We are in Catherine's bedroom now.
The pilot becomes distracted, as we dive
past Pushkin on the bridge,
past Napoleon's frozen soldiers,
past Dostoevsky's firing squad, past Herzen's
broken heart and Rasputin's madness,
on to the Finland Station.
We begin our approach, guided by fires of
revolution, windshields iced
from dying Leningrad's winter siege,
to a magnificent landing
right down the middle
of the Nevsky Prospect,
and roll to a soft dead stop in Room 604.
There is only one rule in this class:
No Visitors Please.
"How can I fly with someone
sitting on my wing?"
All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
Contact Bill Schechter