Janelle Eckardt

AMERICAN AIRLINES

Listen to the audio version.

Six wheels to the tarmac
Ready for departure
Revved with atomic flight
Charged for lift off

Waiting

One external battery, tested and approved
Two ventilators
Loading zone of life
Security staring down the tarmac

Waiting

One external battery up the ramp first—tested and approved
Two ventilators up the ramp next—Wait, I need to breathe!
Me up the ramp last—second class status for six wheels in cargo
Security staring up my skirt

 

Janelle Eckardt lives in San Diego, California, and has Congenital Muscular Dystrophy. Having worked in freelance writing and editing for years, this is the first publication of Eckardt's poetry. The 2016 presidential election inspired Eckardt to raise her small crippled woman's voice in all the ways she can against misogyny and ableism. Poetry: for when you can't take the knee. A growing collection of Eckardt's work can be found on her YouTube channel.