In the Memphis Airport
Above the concourse, from a beam,
A little warbler pours forth song.
Beneath her, hurried humans stream:
Some draw wheeled suitcases along
Or from a beeping belt or purse
Apply a cell phone to an ear;
Some pause at banks of monitors
Where times and gates for flights appear.
Although by nature flight-endowed,
She seems too gentle to reproach
These souls who soon will climb through cloud
In first class, business class, and coach.
She may feel that it’s her mistake
She’s here, but someone ought to bring
A net to catch and help her make
Her own connections north to spring.
She cheeps and trills on, swift and sweet,
Though no one outside hears her strains.
There, telescopic tunnels greet
The cheeks of their arriving planes;
A ground crew welcomes and assists
Luggage that skycaps, treating bags
Like careful ornithologists,
Banded with destination tags.
- Timothy Steele