July 2, 2021 by ellie892
January 3rd, 2020
My daughter hired an Uber to drive me to O’Hare Airport at 3a.m. The festive lights are beautiful – blue trees against white snowy hills. We had a great visit and I know there will be many more in 2020. Travel has become so simple and quick. I’m on my way to Pierre Trudeau Airport in Montreal and should land there at 8:30 a.m.
O’Hare at 3:30 in the morning is a devastating place. Nothing is open except the Burger King and people are lined up for coffee and some sort of breakfast sandwich. I join the back of the line because I’ll feel better if I have something in me. I take it back to the gate where my plane will board. The waiting room is crowded with groggy travellers. I can tell this will not be pleasant. There are TV screens everywhere and the news is dire.
There is word of the pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, China – I know this city – stopped on its banks in August 2018 during a Yangzi River cruise for the locals. I was the only one not speaking Mandarin. People were excited to be docked there – frankly I was unimpressed and wandered back and forth on the deck of the rusty liner. It was pretty basic. But, this news from Wuhan in 2020 and some sort of virus gave me pause. There was talk of shutting down the cities and travel for Spring Festival was stopping, but it was only talk. Nothing to worry about said the authorities.
There was more news from Iran on the screens and only the sipping of bad coffee and the tearing of sandwich wrappers could be heard. There was an assassination on Qasem Soleimani, of Iran a major general, just hours ago at Baghdad International Airport. They said the USA targeted the general as an example or retaliation. There was dull silence in room. I moved far from the others, as has been my way, placed my luggage on a broken plastic seat. Stood there until the final call for Montreal. Only January 3rd and there is already talk of WWIII.
we ride through crystal blue
hear of sickness and retaliation
ice shadows form in waves