Watching the Planes
by Yvonne Higgins Leach

After flipping through your latest Rolling Stone
and listening to all your new
albums, twice, and the air
growing stale in your room,
we declared there was nothing
left to do. Then you remembered
what a friend of a friend told you.

We parked in front of the No Trespassing
sign lodged to the fence. The night
as black as the tar landing strip
that seemed an extension
of our feet. We climbed onto the hood,
warming our backs against it
like a hot dock in summer.

From what felt like nowhere,
the first plane barreled down on us,
screaming, and shaking our bones.
Its silhouette of wings, black
belly, and twinkling lights
so close we reached up as if
to catch it by its tail.

SOURCE:  “Watching the Planes” was first published in Goodreads Poetry Contest as an Honorable Mention in Sept. 2015.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: This is the friend, Chris Davis, who I used to go watch planes with. Here, we’re out to dinner with other high school friends in Spokane, Washington, in February 1978.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I find it so interesting how long memories can stay with me, taking their place in the mantel of my mind, and then suddenly coming forward and asking for attention. I have such fond memories of my good friend and me, both 17, going to watch the airplanes land at our local airport after we had exhausted doing all the other things that entertained us. This memory came to the forefront about 30 years later, demanding to become a poem.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Yvonne Higgins Leach is the author of Another Autumn (WordTech Editions, 2014). Her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies. A native of Washington state, she earned a Master of Fine Arts from Eastern Washington University. She spent decades balancing a career in communications and public relations, raising a family, and pursuing her love of writing poetry. Now a full-time poet, she splits her time living on Vashon Island and Spokane, Washington. For more information, visit yvonnehigginsleach.com.