Tuesday, December 3, 2013


                       THE SURVIVOR
by Shoshauna Shy

It was a living nightmare
from which Olivia could not awake:
tangled howls in a mash of bed
sheets, condolences that arrived
on tea trays in the mornings, the pat
of hands her forehead
could not tolerate.

However long this carried on
she was helpless to determine –
when suddenly she packed her bags
and from the house she bolted,
cashed the insurance checks then drove
to the Midway Airport and booked
eleven successive flights criss-crossing
the Atlantic.  She caught a non-stop

to New York and figured if the engine
didn’t fail over the Baltic Sea, then maybe
a wheel would come loose on the red-eye
to Nicaragua or a fuel tank explode upon
Moroccan tarmac.
She didn’t care how it happened;
she just knew the odds increased
the longer she stayed airborne.
Two months had already managed to pass

since the crash that took her Willis, her Macy
and her Nathan.  She couldn’t let days keep
flooding by or she would never catch them.
Sometimes it took both pilots
to get Olivia off the plane.

~ first published in Milk Sugar Literary Journal