Archives for posts with tag: 1940s

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.

postcard hamlin lake1
Hamlin Lake, Michigan, 1940s
by Joan Colby

A smell of damp, of mildew
Permeated the cottage, lakeside,
Built of simple unfinished planks,
Nothing polished or complicated,
Floorboards, thin walls
So every conversation could be overheard.

A red pump by the chipped sink
That groaned to expel tinged water.
A woodstove my mother cursed
As we stood dripping from our lake baths
Holding bars of Ivory, thin towels wrapped
Around our waists.

The beds were headed with bars
Like jails. Hard in places,
Sunken in others so you could spend
The night spinning from one pole to another
Like a confused explorer.

Outside, the splintery dock
Where father diving into waters
Surprisingly shallow that year
Nearly broke his neck. A rowboat
With heavy recalcitrant oars
To tug us across the lake for supplies.
The splash splash of progress.
Our spitz shuddering in the prow,
He’d fallen in once and remembered.

White birch whose bark could peel
Into testaments on which we wrote
Our having funs and see you soons
Anything with a stamp could be posted
Father contested and was correct.

Rainy afternoons on the porch,
The screens plinging with out of tune
Instruments, we played Sorry,
The colored jacks marched on the board
In militant steps or landing badly
As paratroops were sent back
The way a child was sent to bed
Too early, sleepless, listening
To the mysterious things they said.

IMAGE: Hamlin Lake, Michigan, postcard, available at ebay.

joan colby

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New York Quarterly, the new renaissance, Grand Street, Epoch, and Prairie Schooner. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards, Rhino Poetry Award, the new renaissance Award for Poetry, and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She was a finalist in the GSU Poetry Contest (2007), Nimrod International Pablo Neruda Prize (2009, 2012), and received honorable mentions in the North American Review’s James Hearst Poetry Contest (2008, 2010).One of her poems is a winner of the 2014 Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest. She is the editor of Illinois Racing News, and lives on a small horse farm in Northern Illinois. She has published 14 books, including Selected Poems (FutureCycle Press), which received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize; Properties of Matter, Aldrich Press (Kelsay Books); Bittersweet (Main Street Rag Press), and The Wingback Chair (FutureCycle Press). She has two new chapbooks Ah Clio (Kattycompus Press) and Pro Forma (Foothills Press) as well as a full-length collection Ribcage (Glass Lyre Press), which received the 2015 Kithara Book Prize. Colby is also an associate editor of Kentucky Review and FutureCycle Press.