Skip to Content
The Christian Century
Thinking Critically. Living Faithfully.
Search this site:
Life of Faith
Subscribe (Print & Online) [user/subscribe]
You are logged out.
De-icing the plane
Jan 26, 2010
A small black truck huddles
behind one wing, buried in a shroud
of smoke. Exhaust fumes? fire?
No. A cloud of detergent
billows over the plane. When every suitcase
is stowed, every seat belt buckled,
and the runways plowed, the black truck
sidles up again, the airport’s winter “familiar.”
The silver bird, with floury faces ovalled
on its side, slithers into a blizzard, hugely blind.
No mincing steps, no Lot’s wife here.
One hesitation could mean death
ablaze on a snowy superhighway. Everyone
prays, “Up, up,” to the engine’s crescendo,
like sparrows sudsed in a birdbath
just before flight.