Emergency Checklist

by Tom Hooten

She controls turbulent winds,
soaring above clouds,
cautious grin and a crosscheck
of instruments—one, a photo of
those waiting, little feet on the ground,
a gauge as vital as altitude, airspeed.

When the treacherous beauty
of cumulonimbus looms,
she yanks on the seatbelt,
reviews options, checks alternate
routes to safety knowing control
may be but an illusion of confidence.

Because - On an un-fun day,
the thunderhead must be confronted.
She must depend on internal
navigation, strength of her own
two wings, but she has many copilots, and
twin angels who create loving lift.

Her homing beacon is an
unfailing inner marker, knowledge
that even with damage, her wings
will prevail, and after the rollout, she’ll
kiss the ground, and lots of others who
never doubted she’d make it a squeaker.

TOM HOOTEN received his Master’s Degree in Physiological Psychology from Auburn University, was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force (retired), and had a second career as a Human Resources Director. He has published two scientific research papers (co-authored), a science fiction novel, Hollytime, an essay, "The Physics of Fidget Energy," and several poems. He is in sunny Florida working on Alicetime, the sequel to Hollytime.


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