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Man on an Aeroplane

by Caroline Davies

This man has a voice
imbued with the softness
of Irish rain.

His jeans are new
with the unwashed brightness
of raw denim

I catch glimpses
on his right forearm
of a blue tattoo

moving as he pushes back
the sleeve of his marine
sweatshirt to reveal the blue swirls

of a Celtic pattern
with somehow a heart
at the centre of it.

The plane is noisy.
it swallows up the conversation
he’s having with his neighbour.

His hands are eloquent.
His rolled newspaper
makes an emphatic gesture.

The skin on his arms
is lightly freckled.
He will not end the journey

with chocolate smears
on his clothes, like me
encumbered by a three-year old’s embrace

I notice the gold ring
on his left hand
and like him the more
for this sign, he
is not entirely free.

Copyright © 2006 by Caroline Davies

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