Home > The Slow Grow > Church at O’Hare

Church at O’Hare

Each stands facing the oval track

It gleams stainless

Steel and black, unmoving

So they stand, and give cursory glances at one another

Mother and child tired with shifting feet

Business man – briefcase leaning on creased trousers

Grandmother sitting nearby knitting needles clacking

College student carefully watching the briefcase, wary

A whirring sound, flashing lights and their number flashing

They gather nearer the track and wait while

Black moves past steel and makes its circuit

Waiting.  For the building to release its hold on what is theirs

Each owns something.  It travels with them, following them

Covered in flowers or understated canvas

Most black or blackened by handling

Sizes and shapes notwithstanding they are all the same

Each focused on the same point

Hundreds of eyes watching with expectation

Awaiting the revealing of what is hidden

And when it does they will pounce – claiming their baggage

So that’s what a child’s bag looks like

And the briefcase matches the suitcase

Knitting needles fit within the worried patches of a carpet bag

Backpack fitted with bedroll a home on the road

And now the oval track comes to a stop

The bowels of the building finished revealing what it knows

One family stands staring at one motionless floral print

Sitting there.  Not theirs.

And each person continues on their journey

Having seen everyone else’s baggage

Leaving by themselves, but knowing they’re not alone

Except that one lucky soul whose motionless floral print

Was left and never claimed

Lucky soul free from burden

Trying deperately now, somewhere,

Not to replace their burden

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