A Salt Lake City Air-Terminal Memory
June 1973

“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