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Passed through Chicago on one of my working world tours.
Caught in a blizzard. Too much time to think.

Leaving Chicago

Fdf5205c-8b5b-4da8-a6dc-63fe28d680a9by Billy J. Stewart17 Feb 2015

The coffee burns as I dip,
Peppering the plastic beak of the cup lid,
With my scrawny lips,
Pecking like a demented bird.
Outside the glass doors behind me it’s minus ten.
Wind-chill twice that, probably.
I went out twenty minutes ago for a smoke,
To suck on a wee Cuban panatela,
Half froze to death in the process.
And there I stood,
Huddled with other abusers of the glowing weed,
In silent empathy,
Wrapped in fur, leather and wool mixes.
The big bus came in as we shivered there,
More coming and going on the sidewalk.
This is a rare place, of intersection,
And me, full of introspection.
I finish the coffee with a rattily slurp.
On looking round I find myself next to a guy with a young daughter,
Going to India,
Same as me.
She just wants to colour in, Mum fills her hand with crisps.
I intrude, pretending to be detached and disinterested.
Following every movement from the side of my retina.
And I remember what it was like then…
So maybe I’m just in the wrong place sitting here,
Waiting for check-in to open.
I just want to get on the plane now,
And get the heck out of the vacuous hole that pulls at me again.
But I must wait a little longer,
Hoping the snow will ease back,
Contemplating the options, mulling it over,
Leaving Chicago.
I’ll settle in the lounge and think of you,
Some more.
Aye, leaving Chicago, that’s the easy part.