When the plane went down, at night, in the desert,

The cargo hold burst

And a few things were thrown clear.

It's cold in the dark, in the desert,

And after the hulk burned itself out,

Three heart beats remained in the shadows.

The one with the injured head would fade out with the moon, before morning.

The broken arm would envy suitcases, rocks, anything that does not know pain,

And a third sat silently, and ridiculously, unhurt.

They had

Some Mexican dolls in crates;

Some California video games,

And a sled bound, like them, for Boston.

They burned the sled,

Trading the sky back for its snow, sending smoke this time instead;

Then the dolls,

Which seemed far too close to the bone, but they used what was at hand

Because they hadn't any choice.

In the morning,

It grew hot. One was dead.

The sun rose yellow in the sky like an advertisement for a morning newspaper--

Sports final, funnies.

They sat where they had found themselves, like broken weather vanes.

They sat amid the video games,

All that was left,

And tried to decide whether to wait or start walking.

For them, the decision meant everything.


The sky was a silly blue,

As blank and unconcerned as the face of a child holding a magnifying glass,

And whose kindness stops

At the end of his own nose.


for magpie 44


Caty said…
your creativity and imagination never disappoint :)
Brilliant... Leaves me wanting to know more. Whatever became of them beneath that silly sky?
Daryl said…
When does one learn compassion?
Helen said…
This has a "Lost" vibe ... from beginning to endless possibilities for resolution - or not.
Jinksy said…
What an incredible result from that sled - You're not alone in seeing the plane image, though... Interesting how your story evoled from it - you are a master at the art, that's for sure. :)
Anonymous said…
Oh what a tale, beautifully told so I almost felt I was there. It's all sad and tragic, but the final stanza makes it positively ominous, as if, without saying the word, we know the outcome.
hedgewitch said…
Almost missed this one hiding under the other, which seems kind of appropriate, actually, since there's a lot of meaning and thought also hiding as always in your words that both cover and reveal the souls of things. Sitting amidst the video games--expensive,thousands of hours and dollars to develop, symbols of immature and frivolous consumption--ultimately absolutely useless...fine fine poem, Shay.
Sherry Blue Sky said…
Such a grim tale, so well told. I loved especially "as blank and unconcerned" and "whose kindness stops at the end of his own nose."
Leah said…
Really great juxtaposition of the prosaic objects and the existential struggle. Wow.
Leah said…
P.s. I love your About Me section!
Susannah said…
I loved this Shay, you really have a special something that shines through everything you write!
TALON said…
I loved your take on the prompt, Shay.
Doctor FTSE said…
Another blogger saw the aeroplane in the sledge picture . . but what a story you have made of it. I'd love to know where the ideas in the poem came from. Very adventurous imagination here.
annell4 said…
What a wonderful write!
Carrie Van Horn said…
So much to much truth....i always feel as if i am taking steps onto another world or planet....all is new and captivating in your your world of words Shay!! :-)
Mama Zen said…
Damn. This is brilliant.
Kristen Haskell said…
kindness stops at the end of his nose. What a wonderful phrase for the worst kind of humanity. Great job
Reflections said…
Brilliant piece, out of the sky it fell...
Tess Kincaid said…
Wonderful tale. Shades of "Castaway" here. Haunting.
Awesome post! I did not waver from it even for a sec!

who hid that story for us to find
Tumblewords: said…
Compassion could be learned for some, known by others. A spectacular piece!
Anonymous said…
What an amazing piece--so creative and it does make one think--compassion, survival, luck--all things that fashion our world.

Unknown said…
yes..where is the love?

and the salt
because if they are they going to start eating each other they need a good preservative.

it makes for good TV.
Marilyn & Jeff said…
This is so well written - sobering and very thought provoking.
PattiKen said…
This is such a powerful piece. The images were so real. A sled burning in the desert... really good.
CHummelKornell said…
Wonderful! Glad there are others who are a bit morbid. Well done.
Anonymous said…
A cool, stark narrative related in an impassive, detached voice that renders the poem so much more powerful and resonant than would be the case with a more passionate engagement. Some great images, particularly in the killer final stanza.
how do you do this? you are quite something!
excellent. as always.
Lydia said…
You amaze me, Shay. Those final lines are bravely writ in the Time of the Cult of the Child.
C.M. Jackson said…
what a story--your final image is haunting in its beauty and desperation--excellent magpie!
Jannie Funster said…
Hello. I'm Phoebe Cate's cousin, Philippa, and I strongly suggest that "Dolls" be linked in your sidebar, Ms. FireBlossom.

This is just an awesome, awesome poem from the greatest Web poet I know.


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