When I return to my past life, my father goes

fly-fishing and I can see him from the plane,

a little speck waving a black stick

back and forth over the bending blue

of a river. He never liked sports

but this one seems right – open water, no people,

no obligation to bring anything home.


I don’t know why I’m in a plane

but it feels good to see everything at last.

To the west, on the horizon,

which is hours away from accepting

the hot plummy sun, its yellow and red skirts,

a train whistles and I know

my mother is inside, finishing

a short story she started when she was young.

She is sitting by a window,

leather notebook in her lap, writing in clear

script that never changes during her lifetime

and doesn’t change now in the past

where the train whisks the days, smooth and fast

before they get boring.


Underneath the solid body

of the plane, eons that long ago

went by without me reappear.

Silky gray heads of sauropods

lift above the trees, nibbling.

A pterodactyl floats almost level with the plane

and nearly as wide. It circles and disappears,

circles again, the membranes of its canvas-like wings

vast and translucent, the tea-stained brown catching

the sun. We fly easily, side by side, having yet

such a long way to go.