Flying Home

By Rachel Hadas b. 1948 Rachel Hadas
Down milk-bright colonnades   
the leper’s bell recedes.

Shades lowered against the gleaming waste of ice,   
I sit back, bathe in lukewarm acquiescence.

Dutiful, prompt,
strapped, doped, a little drunk,

squinting at international afternoon   
I’ll soon pass GO again.

And if these colored pencils, nose drops, passport   
should plummet with the rest of the huge oval,

giant time capsule soft for the shark’s maw,
will a notebook ambered back to front with words

rescue me from oblivion?
Syrup of skittish travelers, fame. I yawn.

Rachel Hadas, “Flying Home” from Halfway Down the Hall: New and Selected Poems. Copyright ? 1998 by Rachel Hadas. Reprinted with the permission of Wesleyan University Press.

Source: Halfway Down the Hall: New and Selected Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 1998)

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Poet Rachel Hadas b. 1948

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Activities, Travels & Journeys, Poetry & Poets

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Rachel  Hadas


The daughter of renowned classical scholar Moses Hadas, whose early death she has said gave her a “premature sense of the yoking of love and loss,” Rachel Hadas has published numerous collections of poetry, essays, and translations, including most recently the memoir Strange Relation: A Memoir of Marriage, Dementia, and Poetry (2011) and the poetry collections The Ache of Appetite (2010) and The Golden Road (2012). Kevin Walzer, . . .

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SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Activities, Travels & Journeys, Poetry & Poets

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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