casablanca2 copy
The Tarmac
by Sue Mayfield Geiger

Houston Hobby airport coffee shop.
We sat close, knees touching, hands clasped,
my lipstick on your shirt collar.
Tears in our eyes.
You were off to Panama, “Just for a few months—”
I’ll write every day,” you said.
Coffee consumed and bites of toast crumbs
on your lips, I brushed them off with an
index finger that you kissed with a grin.

We walked out onto the tarmac, arm in arm,
you turned and said goodbye, giving me a wink,
a tight squeeze of a hug and soft kiss.

Today, I am at that same airport, the coffee shop is gone.
Your letters are tucked away in a shoebox
in paper-thin envelopes, stamped “Par avion.”

I am still waiting to walk out on that tarmac
when you return.

PHOTO: Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine and Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund, the star-crossed lovers saying goodbye on the tarmac in Casablanca (1942). 

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: A few decades ago, walking onto the tarmac to board or deplane an aircraft was common, until the jet bridge became the norm. Some smaller airports still allow boarding and deplaning via the tarmac, but very few. There was something exciting and often scary about taking that long walk on the tarmac—the surrounding spaciousness, the roar of the jet engines, the wind blowing mightily. It was very freeing, and sometimes a reminder of love lost.

geiger

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sue Mayfield Geiger is a writer, singer, and model living on the Texas Gulf Coast. When not writing about home décor, fashion, or a new restaurant opening, she reads and writes poetry. Her literary publications include Grayson Books, RiverLit, Dos Gatos Press, The Binnacle (U of Maine), Of Burgers and Barrooms (Main Street Rag), Red Wolf Journal, Waco WordFest Anthology, Perfume River Poetry, THEMA, Silver Birch Press, Poetry and Places, and most recently Odes and Elegies: Eco poetry from the Gulf Coast, available on Amazon. Visit her on Instagram @LovieSue and @Beyond70ish or smgwriter.com.