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Tom Russell

It Doesn't Always Happen Like This

Let’s say you’re looking for the thing with feathers.

And since you’ve already looked everywhere else,


you’re running alongside a Boeing 767 at 35,000 feet

over the Rocky Mountains. You figure that if you could


just get out of the cold, windy, thin air and into

the comfortable, well-lit cabin you could uncross


your frozen fingers and pull that fortune cookie

from your shirt pocket. Your quest would continue from there


with what would surely be a comforting clue

from a crumbled confection. You open the door and no one


gets sucked out into the abyss. After closing it and taking

a seat in the serene airborne living room the oxygen masks come


tumbling down anyway and fluttering along behind yours

is a perfect white feather.






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