The Mail Plane

The Mail Plane by Camden Michael Jones

I.

We erect our tents on the hardpack

of the town’s airport,

rows
of stakes and guidelines

like
a fishing wharf in the tundra;

the
mail plane comes at one,

an
overfull vulture circling above

before
looping North towards the
Gates of the Arctic for the approach run.

The
landing is a front row rock concert where the bassist only knows one
chord and the drummer is still setting up: the tone resonates in the ooze of
our marrow;

that
is to say, the landing is simple, drifting
over alpine fir and spruce tops

with
ballet grace before cutting power

and
slamming wheels to gravel.

II.

Yesterday’s
rain feeds the Yukon today.

Its
hands reach for a hard cloud ceiling and
its lows, its troughs call my name,

call
my name, call my name,

endless
waves in the river’s center,

arcing
with storm energy

and
grip strength.

III.

Other
planes come, and leave,

and
helicopters set down near us.

We
play cards in their wind,

drink
camp coffee that strains

through
the teeth and plugs the gaps;

we
watch and we wait for
seats that never come,

waiting
to leave this airport runway,

waiting
to fight the big fires.

IV.

We
hear the boats before we see them,

curving
around the clay banks

and
we line our packs along

their
aluminum walls. We
sit in plastic bags to
keep dry of river spray,

I
hear my name again,

and
watch another mail plane

take
off. The hardpack vibrates

under
the wheels, the engines scream

their
one note show, and
the DC-3 sinks off the runway towards

the
Yukon – and us – before catching itself,

then
slowly, so slowly we can almost touch

the
silver belly, it growls to the North

and loops
South towards Fairbanks.

Origami Hands by Camden Michael Jones

We
sit on white plastic chairs and watch
the rain

wash
these streets.

This
is not a last meal;

let us
origami our hands

and
sing our departure songs

to
the mirror glass of the sky.

<strong>Camden Michael Jones</strong>
Camden Michael Jones

Camden Michael Jones will earn his BA in English and History from Western Oregon University in June of 2020, and has won multiple literary and creative writing competitions during his undergraduate years.

His poetry focuses on his experiences as a wildland firefighter, with love and death, and with the randomness of life. Every poem he writes is inherently personal and as a collection may be viewed as a collective self-portrait.

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. For more information, see my disclosures here. 

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