Johnny America


Robin Watch­ing Airplanes


Smoke un­furls in the wake of the 727. The ground is still damp with dew, and Robin can feel the mois­ture wick­ing in­to her cor­duroys. She’s ly­ing on a sun-touched slope in sight of a cher­ry tree. She glances at a sec­ond trail inch­ing across the sky. She thinks — I wish I was on that plane. Any­where, I would go any­where. She clos­es her eyes and watch­es the par­ti­cles dance on the back of her eye­lids. She thinks of free­dom and boys and flight.

Age 27: A screen door bangs shut. Robin tilts her chin in­to the air to see who’s left house. Her view in­verts and the soft grass turns to sky. She sees her hus­band approaching.

– Hey babe, I’m go­ing to run in­to town. Your moth­er’s out of cof­fee. Want to come?

– No hon, I’m en­joy­ing this too much.

Age 37: Nathan’s caught his first toad and is stand­ing over his moth­er, proud of his hunt­ing skills.

– I used to do that when I was a lit­tle girl. I caught thousands.

– You caught toads?

– I did.

– But you’re a girl.

Robin clos­es her eyes and watch­es the par­ti­cles dance on the back of her eyelids

– Go show your sister.

Filed under Fiction on March 13th, 2004

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Reader Comments

bill wrote:

i knew a chris­t­ian boy named robin who i caught lit­tle frogs with. huh.

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