Sunday over France

by Michael Macklin

In 1926 the flight from Paris to New York
was seventeen hours.
Passengers sat in graceful wicker
trying to converse above the howl of trimotors.

There was some concern
that too much weight on the port side
might shift the aircraft southward
missing Coney Island

until low on fuel
and fearing the worst
our young pilot
set us down
on a beach

whose only source of light
was the new moon and a lamp
in a fisherman’s window.
We disembarked barefoot

among blue parrots and stars
and began to walk the long curve of sand.
No one missed New York
now that its clatter was lost

in the jungle,
the world without engine noise
filled with the singing of stars and waves
and our hearts with the sweetening silence.