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The Importance of Preflights

By John I. Blair

If I had done a walk-around
Like any pilot would before a takeoff
I might have noticed
I had an unbooked passenger
Riding on my hood.

Halfway through my journey
To the drugstore
A very startled face popped up
Into my line of sight,
Glaring through the windshield.

A lizard, green as leaves,
Was clinging tightly to the trim,
Not quite taking in the fact
That he was making 30 mph
Along the street.

Lizard lover that I am
(Go figure) I slowed,
Turned carefully into the lot,
Then cogitated what I could accomplish
With a lizard spryer than my seven decades.

Abandoning all hope
Of catching him or safely
Routing back to home
Without a catastrophic bailout,
I pulled over to the edge

Where grass and bushes offered haven,
Slid out of my seat,
Wrangled Mr. Greenskin to the ground,
Then made like a border collie
(If collies cared for lizards).

And after safely shooing him
To shelter in the shrubbery,
I solemnly avowed
That any future driveway checks
Should cover lizard lookouts.

2013 John I. Blair


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