“OK, good morning, let’s try again.”
This is the thought the father has when
he wakes up his kid for Airplane, Try 2:
We’re going this time, that much is true.

It isn’t that yesterday we were without aid -
The Virgin America staff (who are paid
Precisely to help traveling families in need)
Went out of their way to let us proceed

On our way all the way
out to old LAX
But the door to our plane
and the jetway were wrecks

Which led us, of course,
to book a new flight
And to taking young Harper
back home for the night.

A young girl asleep in a child's car seat
Harper, en route

And now we are going
back to DFW
Where TSA guards
are all set to shuttle you

From terminal entry
to security gate
(And we woke up at 3,
so as not to be late.)

We made it, we did it,
we got on our plane,
And Harper was pretty
amazing again,

We got up quite early
and stayed up quite late
Although by design
we’d not much on our plate:

We landed, we rented a car, and we went
Through Huntington Beach (where, to Harper’s lament)
We stayed in the car on our way to Pomona,
Which, surprising, to me, wore a smog hematoma

Despite being set in a bowl made of mountain -
Or maybe, because? There is no accountin’
Of proof that such an idea is science
Or merely artisanal data defiance

So let’s set that down and get on with our day:
Diana went over and heard scholars say
interesting things in re: learning communities.
I, as a dad, battled lost opportunities

Like taking the kid to see fish as planned
At an aquarium way up a road in demand
By Friday pacific coast traffic. As such:
I wanted to, but an hour’s drive was too much.

So because of our plane trials
we missed seeing whales,
But Harper and I
had plenty of tales

To share and to watch
in our room, then we walked,
And I listened intently
to her as she talked

About birdies and bugs
and clouds and the sky.
She asks me “What?” now,
but still doesn’t ask “Why?”

A young girl stands against a seawall at a California beach, with palm trees in the background.
Harper at the seawall at Huntington Beach

She’s just like her mother:
there’s two of them now.
Headstrong and loving
And grins all kapow.

“She is her own bear,”
Says my wife, and it’s true.
(Though she’s just as much me
As she’s made up of you.)