Unstuck in O’Hare

The flow
Of people
The flow
Of people

Like migrating flocks of geese
Making the best of current conditions to
Get to more temperate climes
Streaming through terminals
The structure of systems so designed to
Move us

I’m moved by this today
Unstuck on layover in O’Hare

So I jumped purposelessly yet mindfully into this flow of people
Moving through the terminals
Sauntering, Flowing, Drifting
Asking myself what Baudelaire would do,
Stopping for a moment where I could find a more generous stream of cooler air

Caffeine, allergy meds, Multi-Vitamins and a fizzing lil’ Airborne tab
My drugs of choice so far today
My neurons soaking up all the feel good
dopamine feel goods streaming through my synapses as I jump into

The flow
Of people
The flow
Of people

Text received from United with update
More delay applied to delay,
Andalat, Andalat,
Me decidedly unmoved in this moment
Consciously confident in my approach to leaning on a poll by Gate 1 of Terminal B
Looking quite the casual flaneur

Ahhhh….Starbucks Coldbrew quickly doin’ its work
As if I needed it
So energized by
The flow
Of People
The flow
Of people

The flow
More like a river
Than the traffic at home on I-4
City Beautiful
Or no
Stop and Go
Stop and Go
Beep Beep, move outta the way, ASSHOLE, desculpeme, merci,
Parle vous, Jeez ma’m, Come onnnn, con permiso, habla espanol
So sweet to move with them
With no gate to get to
Anytime soon.

The flow, yeah, it’s
Like traffic
Speeding up then slowing down
Stop and Go
People exiting aircraft
Racing to connecting flights

The metallic hummmm of people movers manned by empty faces
Wheelchairs, baby carriages, carry-ons on wheels,
Pilots and flight attendants uniformly pressed and dressed shiny shoes adorned
Children staying tight with fathers & mothers
All garbed up in neon yellow
Sandal wearing Monks in habits carrying leather briefcases
Men and women in battle dress fatigues orders in hand off to their next assignments, pray it’s not more war

The smells of pizza, caramel corn, espresso, hand sanitizer, diesel fumes,
Unchanged diapers, unshowered travelers
All mashed up as one.
So glad I have this chance to be
Unstuck in O’Hare this day

In this most beautiful and lovely
Of people.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, 7/11/2016

I wrote this yesterday on the way back home from the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival. Hoping you enjoyed it and that you find yourself “unstuck” and in the “flow of people” some day soon.

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