One moment she was there, laughing, alive;
The next, after goodbye, she walked away,
One in a crowd of others, towards the plane.
We moved outwardly nonchalant, just five
Beings of the space age, of this modern day,
And clustered, smiling, at the window pane.
Propellers spun, the air hummed like a hive,
And slowly, lurching, the ungainly monster grey
Crawled on its belly o’er the level plain,
Soon to take wings in upward onward drive.
And though my body moved on earth-bound feet,
And though my eyes were fixed on local view,
My heart was climbing in the empty blue
And in its place a void stayed, hard, complete.
Weekly Times 29.4.60
(On daughter’s departure)