Obi Maduakor

That Breathless Take-Off Moment

by Obi Maduakor

There was some joviality, some casual social exchanges

as travelers shuffled their way casually into the crowded craft,

heading with some inner vacuity towards designated seats,

stowing carefully away carry-on travel impediments,

checking out comfort seat gadgets and gears,

settling down, somewhat ominously,

 to survey this hollowed incandescent tubing. 

 Then the take-off moment was announced,

heralded by twin, low-sounding decibels.

Then seats began to move up into upright positions.

Makeshift meal tables snapped back into place.

Movement ceased, conversations were frozen, breathing stopped.

Lights dimmed.

Anxiety and uncertainty stood visibly on the face of all:

What if an explosion occurs, what if the beast disintegrates into flames?

The tense moment lasted for a few more moments.

The beast soars gradually into a stable altitude.

Technology and navigation experience seem to triumph.

Confidence returns.

 Talking resumes.

Movement and breathing resume.

Hope returns.

The journey goes on with some short-lived occasional turbulence,

Triggering off some trepidation, all in anticipation

Of the next crisis moment, the trial moment of landing and its horrifying throes.

Obi Maduakor taught English for many years at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, as a full Professor. He currently teaches English at Seneca College, Toronto, as Adjunct Professor. He is the author of many books and numerous essays in learned journals. He is also an evangelical Anglican priest ministering as  Honorary Assistant under the jurisdiction of the Anglican Network in Canada, Toronto. He enthusiastically combines his academic work with his calling as a priest.