As the plane barrels down the runway and lifts off, delirious with speed,
someone kicks against my seatback. Then I hear him. A five-year old?
Awesome, dad! Where are we now? We’re still in California, says his father.
How can you tell if the clouds get in the way? What’s a cloud?
A cloud’s made up of droplets of water, so tiny you never see them,
so light they float and—Can I have another cookie please? And now?
Where are we now? he asks through Arizona, Colorado, Illinois…
And what keeps our plane from falling from the sky?
See those engines? They push back the air that moves the plane
forward. Look at the shape of that wing. More air passes under
than over and that causes …The boy cries: That’s the stupidest thing
I’ve ever heard. You’ve made it all up.
The father clears his throat. How about this? Angels live in those clouds.
They carry the plane. On their backs. Silence. Then I hear the child.
Yes, that’s what happens I think.
© by Diana Anhalt.
Used with the author’s permission.