A Salt Lake City Air-Terminal Memory

    “A Salt Lake City Air-Terminal Memory,” New Era, June 1973, 66–67

    Special Issue:
    Missionary Work

    A Salt Lake City Air-Terminal Memory


    unmodish, longish dress,

    a hairnet back straight,

    and rugged still,

    though rural life

    and the man she spent it with

    are long gone.

    while children go forth, she stands,

    white gloves clutching

    a modest black purse …

    older sister:

    the tired, haunted glance,

    two children and a man

    in arms, while she waits

    the day he will return

    safe, as this

    her brother leaves …

    the girl friend:

    eyes sparkling, clutching

    hands that promise more

    than should be promised,

    for two years

    can be longer

    than eternity …


    trying to look

    proud, concealing,

    growing up, growing

    apart, growing old.


    and a love that somehow,

    foolishly (they know),

    would tell them

    they must not cry …

    cameras, omniscient,

    omnipresent, and unfeeling

    man-made angels,

    recording all that is done

    on earth for heaven …

    “great-grandpa Bonner died

    crossing the plains

    by handcart so

    you might go

    by plane because he came.”

    and again the girl friend,

    everpresent, clinging,


    giving without knowing

    a reason to be going …

    younger brother:


    the example he will

    be told to follow

    wonderingly, yet

    held by shared last hours,

    frantic grasps

    at youth ebbing freedom:

    one last wild ride on

    the hay rake across

    pasture stubble, the ritual

    firing, then clean and oil

    the gun,

    the promise of a first hunt

    to be shared; too young

    to know

    how little time there is

    or seems to be

    for little brothers

    for he who returns

    to hunt

    more beautiful bird …

    the best friend:

    he’ll never go, and

    knowing, as he stands,

    will ever stand apart …


    Aunt Sophie,

    Mrs. Spurns,

    The dog

    left locked,

    barking, frantic,

    in the truck

    never to understand.




    giving only love

    to the missionary as he leaves.

    Photo by Don Thorpe