The Man From Chechnya

He reads a magazine
during the safety lecture
while the flight attendant
points out the exits on the plane.

She leers at him
says they will not take off
until everyone is paying attention.
He tells her he has flown a thousand times
knows the oxygen mask descends
when the cabin loses pressure
knows how to use the life jacket
should they splash down over Nebraska.
He even knows the number
of a very good dentist
who might repair the ivory Stonehenge
she calls teeth.

The flight attendant storms down the aisle
awakens the air marshal from his nap
said she heard the man in seat 23C mutter
something in Arabic.
It sounded like the word “bomb”.
Questioned by the marshal
the man tries to explain he is a Presbyterian
born in Nevada
a true-blue American.
His parents left Czechoslovakia
to escape from Communist oppression.
The marshal thought he said Chechnya
so he is escorted off the plane
and probably put on the No-Fly List.

John David Muth was born and raised in central New Jersey. He has been an academic advisor at Rutgers University for the last seventeen years. Most of his poetry is satirical. His favorite topics include romantic relationships, the inner workings of higher education, and modern values and practices. His first two collections, A Love for Lavender Dragons and Inevitable Carbon, were published by Aldrich Press.

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