Cello Duet

Kimberly Peterson

overseas flight delays
time compressed to catch
our last connection home,
and final flight tonight

                        mismatch march
through customs
                                    sixteen-bar rest

                                indifferent agents
mumble vague instructions
            must recheck baggage

search for open security gate
                                    Allegro
finally find one                      
                                    twelve-bar rest

            soloist mom with C chord
                        of kids at the end of the line
                                    pleads for help to get to her gate
   “Nothing I can do,” security guard
                                    Forte
chorus line steps left, sings  
                        “Let her through”
                                    A cappella
                                                twenty-bar rest
when we finally board
pilot reports an unusual delay
                                                           
each plane carries one strap
to secure a cello in the cabin (regulations)
                        “Two cellos on tonight’s flight,
                           I asked for airport-wide search
                           to find strap number two”
                                                forty-eight bar rest

                        while we wait on the tarmac
harmonious cellos soothe us                                                              

                        No, not really

cellists trade seats to sit together
taut vocal cords of passengers’ lament
                                    pianissimo

we fly a polite topography
hope no one twists pegs
until strings break


About the Author

Kimberly Peterson writes creative nonfiction and poetry. She spends a lot of time in airports, previously traveling for work and now for pleasure. You can find her on Instagram @Kimberlypetersonpoet