Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Free Air

Free Air

Fill the whole tank,
because who knows what
zombie apocalypse tomorrow
could bring,

is a thought that flutters
near my ear often,
almost every time
I go to the gas station.

As a child, I’d see the signs
offering free air
and plan to head there
in case of nuclear catastrophe,

I’d tell my family,
and we’d cluster together,
taking turns putting the tube
in our mouths.

And if there were a fire,
my little sister and I said
to one another what we would do:
throw the pillows out the windows,

then the blankets,
then our stuffed animals,
then the dogs,
and then ourselves, holding the cats.


  1. This is so good, a resume of many of the nightmares I remember from a child with a tiny pinch of adult surrealism as seasoning.

  2. I agree with Dave, Hannah. What a wonderful take on "free air". The image that inspired this is quite touching.

  3. Free Air, lol! Being older than you, I recall the huddling underneath wooden desks, thinking we would be safe from the 'atomic' bomb. In the halls up against the wall knees bent. Whew!!! that 'A' bomb was close. I feared going to bed, going to sleep, closing my eyes.

    I no longer fear death BUT am disheartened by my fellow man and fear the destruction of what was made by 'Gods' hand.

    Hanna, congrats on your run, woo hoo!!!

  4. Another one of your wonderfully whimsical "brain stem" poems (as I like to call them), Hannah. I remember a lot of laughter at the pow-wow when the discussion was how the crazy white man was now selling air. Funny too how things played the straightest always seem the most surreal, that's how sick and twisted we really are. But the irony at your ending is truly hilarious, heartbreaking and vivid and cute and real and hopeless as it is, for we all know the cat would have been the first one out of there.


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