Posted by: Shara | June 8, 2011

The Child She Cradled

I have had some people tell me that this poem doesn’t sound realistic because of airline policies.  I assure you, I was an eye witness.

The woman turned,
as the two-and-a-half-year old
she lovingly embraced
slept in her arms.
She had boarded the plane
late, last,
and no one wanted
to accommodate
her and her three children.
She spoke gently, quietly,
in deference
to the child she cradled,
as she sought help
from the flight attendants.
Three people
in the second-to-last row
jumped up to scatter
and make space
for the child
who had guilted them
into action
by being helpless,
unable to speak,
and breathing
through a tube
in his nose.


They lost her child’s specialized seat, as well, and had to hold the plane to find it. In addition to that, most plane seats apparently do not hold disabled child carseats, so she had to hold him the whole time. She was a trooper, and I could not believe how compassionate she was to those who were not the same for her child.  Nothing but patient, loving energy came from her from the beginning to the end of the flight.

This child was extremely disabled, and yet, the mother held no grievance with anyone who treated him like an annoyance and a bother. She did not speak loudly or defend herself or him. She simply waited patiently, allowing people their space.

The use of cliche here is supposed to make for a more stark contrast to the discovery at the end that this situation is anything but cliche!



  1. […] Shara: […]

  2. most planes don’t have seats for kids at all.

    interesting highlight, well penned.

    keep it up

  3. I think planes are terrible places for children and people with disabilities overall. Thanks for this insightful poem.

  4. It’s unfair, but yes, you’re right!

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