PDF: The Air Show

PDF: The Air Show

The Air Show

My son, at one year’s old, loves
airplanes in the sky.
Rvroom. Rvroom.

Her son, at 13,
loves the Blue Angels.
Nods his head, closes his lips,
smiles, “Huh. Huh. Awesome.”

Her son, at 30,
loves his country. Each
trick reminds him of
carnival rides, roller coasters.
He can still get by
with just Advil.

The F/A-18
tears across the sky
so high it is a moving
black cross
so loud, I can feel it.

My son screams, is more scared than I’ve ever seen him.
Her son, at 3, covers his ears with his hands and cries.
Her son, at 7, does the same but holds back tears.
His 9 year old brother reaches for the popcorn.
Her son, at 15, can’t wait to sign up because his dad did.
Her son, now 28, signed up because of 9/11.
Her son, at 19, signed up for the three grand bonus.
Her son, at 21, signed up after the second baby was born.
Her son, at 24, came home and was forgotten.
Her son is lost.
Her son is lost.
Her son is lost.
Her son, at 11, kicked his soccer ball into the street
—right before the blast.
Her son, at 1, screams when any airplane flies by
—terrified of the thing there is no words for.

Some cheer. Others utter
reverent mumbles. A few
salute, but mostly to keep
the sun out of their eyes.
They don’t know.
They have forgotten
there is any other way.

—Traci Clark