They flew in from Toronto
to escape the bone-chill grip of
Winter that clings to late Spring.
Every breath clouded hurrying heads
as rolling luggage wheels chatted with
airport cement. There wasn’t any ice
on the wings when they boarded, but a sky
gray as death, looked like it might break
if dropped on the tarmac that morning.
In Miami, they found their bags
on the cluttered carousel, grabbed a cab
at the airport curb; ate at one of those
places whose names they never remember,
checked into the palm-tree lined hotel, quickly
whisked to their room on the twenty-third floor
of a white concrete slab and blue glass tower,
shoulder to shoulder with so many others
that no one ever bothers to count them.
Wearing shorts, flip-flops and Tommy Bahamma,
he holds her hand as they walk, grinning
at each other like they did twenty-three years ago,
ya know what I mean – you’ve seen them,
pale snow birds in from the cold, not too old
to remember how to have fun. They may
not run but there’s a bounce in their step, and
you watch him let her go through the door before
following her floral dress out into the sun.
Someone told them to check out Panama City,
that the gulf wasn’t rough as the Atlantic. Oh yeah.
So, where are they now, you might wonder, noting
abandoned beach chairs, side by side like memories
awakened by the choppy music of turbulent waves, no one
in sight on an endless stretch of sugar white sand
and blowing mist cloaking a mile of half empty hotels.
Always the same. The flock flies away at the end
of their stay. Where is it, this place called home?