Baby’s First Airplane Ride

Chili powder, baby powder, clam chowder.

My wife would pack gunpowder if TSA allowed her.

You never know when you might need to improvise an explosive to blast your way through a damned fine dead end are words she actually said once (we were already married).

Like what!? I asked, thinking surely she’d struggle to come up with an answer.

Bam! She rattled off a dozen fantastical scenarios—and she believed each one was possible (did I mention we were already married?).

Lord willing, I’m going to have children with this woman was the disbelieving thought that went through my mind (I said nothing).

 

Perhaps now would be a good time to tell you a little about my wife’s parents:

They lived (and still do) in a small town an hour outside Cleveland, Ohio.

On trips into the big city, as soon as they pulled off the interstate (I’m told), my mother-in-law would snap her head toward the back seat and bark orders at the kids:

LOCK YOUR DOORS! LOCK YOUR DOORS! WE’RE IN THE CITY NOW!

At the first red light, my father-in-law would snap his head toward the back seat and up the rhetoric:

IT’S DANGEROUS HERE! ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN! YOU UNDERSTAND?

[wide-eyed nods]

ANYTHING!

 

Chili powder, baby powder, clam chowder.

 
 
 
EDITOR’S NOTE: This poem was selected from entries submitted to our Creative Challenge Series #31: First Sentences, which required that the first sentence in the text must be used as given. Read other Creative Challenge winners. To find out how to participate, go to Creative Challenges.
 

 
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robert Grant is a poet-screenwriter whose poems have appeared in DASH Literary Journal, Mudfish, and Medical Literary Messenger—as well as on numerous unsolicited postcards to family and friends. He has written a buddy comedy (screenplay) and is currently at work on a family drama.

 

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