Tossing and turning all night long, wrestling with what’s going to be,
tangled in a tarantula web of worry until at last I fall asleep,
lost in a dream, wondering who knows what we don’t know we know?

I walk up and down unfamiliar streets, scouring rooftops, knocking on doors,
searching for someone with oracular vision who might be able to see beyond
ordinary sight.

Suddenly, I’m thrust into a black Escalade; blindfolded, I count the bumpy
rumble of tar strips like the kidnapped hero in “The House on 92 Street”
who remembered how far he was transported.

Screeching brakes end the ride. Greeted by a smiling stewardess at the door
of a gold-plated plane who hands me a lush bouquet of parrot tulips and peonies,
I hear a piccolo trumpet fanfare, thumb rolls and jingles of shaking tambourines.

I’m seated next to a dystopian stranger with a worried look absorbed in contemplating
calamity. He nods in friendly desperation. When I offer him a flower, his down-turned mouth
turns up in a broad Steeplechase grin.

I see Turks and Greeks no longer fighting, computer geeks from Bangladesh
who don’t look up from laptop screens, burka-clad young women, too rotund
to wear bomber belts, who sing doo-wop like the guys in my army barrack in ’53.

Cheerful staff is well supplied for common contingencies, stocked with a plethora
of drinks as well as diapers, Tampax and aspirin. Everyone is content, even the pilot
can be heard blowing bubble-gum, singing He’s got the whole world in his hands.

The elite have all been run out of town, first class seats available to all who now
luxuriate on a plush bed of roses. Passengers are doing exactly what they feel like doing.
Kindness fills the air like a jolt of nitrous oxide.

The sun-drenched plane illuminates jubilantly eidetic eyes. No matter how overcast
it may become I vow to plant a grove of cherry trees; “proud only of those days that pass
in undivided tenderness.”

A stewardess belly-dances down the aisle reminding us to unclench our jaws and unlock safety-belts.

Milton P. Ehrlich