Dulles Airport Late Sunday night
Waiting, waiting for the last flight out to Roanoke
I wander through gray carpet deserts,
up and down stairs, dazed by 3,000 miles
and lack of sleep, still glowing from the tender brush
of Sacramento’s air at 5 a.m. on my cheeks
like a mother’s goodbye.
I come upon an anonymous corner; a man
kneels, face to the wall, on a gray-white rectangle of cloth.
His intention so wholly fills his middle-aged body
I am embarrassed
to interrupt but he gracefully lowers
his forehead to the floor
in a singular reverence
and gratitude washes over me
for his devotion;
I walk around the corner
stand looking out at the dusky tarmac
beneath an almost-indigo sky,
let go of my suitcase,
my backpack of important things,
try to pray
Deborah A. Miranda
I had a lot to be thankful for after the California Indian Conference this past weekend.