Margaret Ray

March 13th, 1993: Jacksonville Airport & the Storm of the Century

The airport: Saturday, after the funeral. We move, then we wait,
                wearing our lives around us like so much
                                                                                               architecture.

                                                                                 A confluence. A relief that what matters here
                                                                is weather. So I can stop thinking
                about inheritance.

There is coughing in Terminal A.
                We’ve been marshalled to the interior
of the airport

                                                                                 in case of debris. High winds, glass windows
                                                                & all that. Perhaps you know
                                                                                               the drill, though this isn’t one.

Clemson sweatshirt guy comes back with a tray
                of soft pretzels Auntie Annie’s is giving away.
People sit on the floor in groups,

                a festival atmosphere begins to
dominate the hunker-down
& what I do is

                                                                                               decide on no more
                                                                              second person. This weather won’t do
                                               for a metaphor, but

here it is anyway. Let’s speak plainly. Imagine
                we have a plan. Say it involves
waiting this out. I can

                                                                                             wait out the silence you left in your wake.
                                                                              See you to the front
                                                                                                                                               door & look through it, too.


Margaret Ray grew up in Gainesville, Florida, which is neither South Florida nor quite the South. She has been a contributor at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference and the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop. Her poems have appeared in FIELD and are forthcoming in Mortar Magazine and Habitat.  She is currently a student in Warren Wilson’s MFA program, and she teaches high school English in New Jersey.