"It was almost a surreal quality that kind of developed during the night,"
passenger Link Christin said. -AP
When the rerouted plane set down
the passengers stayed put
but not because they didn’t
have other places to go.
One fell asleep after two hours
of insisting he be released.
He dreamt of Minneapolis
in the snow despite it being summer,
the moist midnight air
filling his lungs like a sponge.
Another exhausted her cell phone
calling for help, the irony being
that passenger safety
was why she couldn’t leave.
Airport security, gone for the day,
had locked the doors behind them
and nobody else was qualified
to secure this acre of earth.
So the crew refused to disembark
any passenger, afraid that broken rules
might open the hatch to terrorism.
Out of kindness a flight attendant
turned off the seat belt light
and relief circulated through
the tiny adjustable nozzle
above everyone’s head, that is
until the toilet holding tank filled
and then not even relief
reigned, though the captain
still held the cockpit out of habit,
asserting his inalienable right
to remain in charge.