Paul Hartal


Aborted Landing


From the airplane window
the roads looked
like long capillaries,
and the cars
like moving ants
in a miniature landscape,
and the city
an intricate labyrinth
on a silver plate
of lambent baby toy blocks.

The spring afternoon sky
was cloudless, clear and blue,
as the Airbus A 319,
with 124 passengers aboard
on a flight from San Diego
to Las Vegas,
prepared for landing
at McCarran International
Airport.

The short-fuselage Airbus
approached with great speed.
The panorama shifted,
changed in rapid motion.
The world on the solid earth
began to regain its familiar size
as the plane descended.

And then suddenly came
a bumping jolt
with a rumbling sound.
The wheels
touched the runway.
But they hit it hard,
pounding the pavement
with fierce force,
and causing the plane
to bounce.

The Airbus lifted to the air.
The pilot opted for
an aborted landing,
and applied full thrust
to the engines.

“Don’t panic! ”
The flight attendant said
in a high-strung voice.
“Just a missed approach,
a touch and go around”.

The plane took off again
roaring wildly, dashing forward
into cloudless blue skies
and circling the airport
for about fifteen minutes
before landing successfully.

“Whatever the reason for it,
this was a very dangerous
landing maneuver”,
a passenger said.

His friend gave him a smile.
“Well, any landing”, he said,
“if you are able to walk away
from it, is a good landing”.

Submitted: Sunday, April 27, 2014
Edited: Sunday, April 27, 2014

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