American gal

Songs of the Everyday

She’s an American gal.
She’s fiddling with the seat controls
and complaining about the cramped conditions
in the business class pod.
You get twice the space on Iberia.

She’s all American Gal.
Her husband wears ridiculous horn rimmed specs.
She asks for a John Collins and something financial to read,
a stroll down memory lane?
Her husband is reading Forbes.

She’s just an American gal.
She’s already a little drunk
and makes conversation with easy abandon
and a touch of motherly coquettishness.
Her husband is silent behind his magazine and huge glasses.

She’s good old American.
She bitches a bit about the Mexicans
with a confidential glint and infective langour
of someone not affected.
Do you have the same problem in Europe?

She’s from America, the old girl.
It might have crossed her mind:
if only she were a few years younger…
The world would be a fantastic place,
If everyone were old, rich and candid.

Lady America!
She raises the little plastic barrier –
see you later – and lies back in her cocoon.
Her greying perfect blonde bouffant disappears.
I salute you, my accidental muse.

– o –

An encounter on the plane to Chicago, summer 2010


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