by Elisavietta Ritchie


Coming from somewhere else
at any age, even in utero,
you're never sure

your feet touch the soil.
Your whole life you hover --
hawk, helicopter

or fat dirigible, fearful
someone might poke a hole,
light a match --

You hang in there, up there,
wondering will they finally
grant permission to land

or forever challenge your passport,
check your fingerprints,
discount your money, question

could you survive as a stranger?
Best stay suspended,
forget the keys to the town.

Here, the air is dangerous, cold,
wind currents tricky, but
God, what a view.

-from Awaiting Permission to Land
(winner of the AnamnesisAward)
Cherry Grove Press, copyright 2006

Elisavietta Ritchie