Bio Note: I've published four full-length collections of poetry and two chapbooks. "Stillness" is from the manuscript of my fifth full-length collection of poems, which is still making the rounds of contests. "Brotherly Love and Peace" emerged from something observed in the airport when my husband and I were returning home to California from a recent trip to Switzerland, where our son and daughter-in-law currently work and where they live with two of our grandchildren.
—Late Afternoon, January, Southern California
As if an invisible bell had been dropped over the world. The leaves of the willow stopped swaying back and forth like a porch swing. The feathery palo verde stopped dusting the sky. The long gold light lay down. Shadows pooled on lawns. Every rapt thing paid the utmost attention, waiting. If ever I had been that quiet, listening, who knows what I would have heard.
Originally published in Sheila-Na-Gig 3:3 (Spring, 2019).
Brotherly Love and Peace
Directly in front of us, on the muddled line to our airline’s counter in the chaotic crush of Geneva Departures the Saturday before Christmas: a young man with Downs, accompanied by an unsmiling middle-aged woman. He turns to greet my husband and me very cheerfully, as if we were grandparents equally happy to re-unite. Left of the ticket agent, a tall, stalwart uniformed official stands yelling Allez-y, Allez-y, his rapid hands waving suitcases onto the scale. When his turn comes, the young man trundles over his own. Then he puts both palms flat on the shouting official’s chest and pats him slowly, appreciatively and thoroughly down to his waist— as if he were a much-loved perp, who also needs to chill. Blessedly, the officer does and says absolutely nothing in response, except to raise his waving arms a little higher above his head, in effect giving the young man a little more room for his mission, while not even pausing his own Allez-y.
©2020 Judy Kronenfeld
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