After ‘Heatwave’ by Ted Hughes
Between Huntingburg and frozen Indianapolis
The Midwest plains had entered the fly’s belly.
Like black-eyed rabbits half-buried in snow
My plane shudders in the icy wind.
The illusion of a runway is so real
Trees sprout on it, and human carcasses.
Only droning of the engine
And no beacons for the hapless.
I cannot penetrate the silence till sunset
Releases its raptor
Over the clouds, and birds are suddenly
Everywhere, and my pilot’s flesh
freezes in the breathing-in of great eagles.
John C. Mannone has work in Blue Fifth Review, Poetry South, Peacock Journal, Baltimore Review, and others. He won the Jean Ritchie Fellowship (2017) in Appalachian literature and served as celebrity judge for the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (2018). He edits poetry for Abyss & Apex and others. http://jcmannone.wordpress.com