Robin Watching Airplanes

by Jay HOLLEY
 

Smoke unfurls in the wake of the 727. The ground is still damp with dew, and Robin can feel the moisture wicking into her corduroys. She’s lying on a sun-touched slope in sight of a cherry tree. She glances at a second trail inching across the sky. She thinks—I wish I was on that plane. Anywhere, I would go anywhere. She closes her eyes and watches the particles dance on the back of her eyelids. She thinks of freedom and boys and flight.

Age 27: A screen door bangs shut. Robin tilts her chin into the air to see who’s left house. Her view inverts and the soft grass turns to sky. She sees her husband approaching.

—Hey babe, I’m going to run into town. Your mother’s out of coffee. Want to come?

—No hon, I’m enjoying this too much.

Age 37: Nathan’s caught his first toad and is standing over his mother, proud of his hunting skills.

—I used to do that when I was a little girl. I caught thousands.

—You caught toads?

—I did.

—But you’re a girl.

Robin closes her eyes and watches the particles dance on the back of her eyelids

—Go show your sister.

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