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Wings of Silver Satin

I wrote this as a young man during a late night flight from Denver to Vegas.

The wing is silver satin,
Reflecting defused rays of moonlight into the darkened cabin.
The other passengers are sleeping,
But I watch the wing of silver satin.
The rivets, marshaled in rows, run away;
Converging toward a vanishing point;
Targeting a horizon that can only be defined
As that place where the stars cease
And the blackness of the darkened earth falls below.
I cannot truly see the red strobe;
But it’s steady pulse,
In a soothing and silent rhythm,
Bathes the airfoil mid-way along the leading edge.
I watch this wing of silver satin;
It exerts no energy in performing its function,
Transforming opposing forces into a means of ascent.
The form of its shape
And the angle at which it approaches its gale-force world
Providing the lift,
Carrying even the unconscious traveler in his slumber.
This organ of flight is not of arbitrary configuration
But MUST be as it is;
With pattern and profile emerging from the decades;
Fashioned from frustrating failure
And the successful slicing of the ether with the precision to soar.
The engines shout,
Demanding our first attention,
Thrusting us forward into the night.
But still I watch the wing of silver satin.
That red luminescent pulse,
In a constant cadence,
Signals of a heart within.
And I see life.
I see Youth in the engine,
Enthusiastically driving the world forward;
Kept only from careening wildly into space,
By virtue of its anchor to the wing of Age and Wisdom.
It is plain;
Though its scream is impressive,
That the engine owes its altitude
To that wing of silver satin.
My reflection presses back against me in the glass.
I consider myself and resolve:
While I am still more engine than lift,
I will remain firm-fastened
To the wings of silver satin.

Picture of Wes Stephenson

Wes Stephenson

Author, motorcyclist, poet, and adventurer. Let's journey together.

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