Air Born

Eric Chandler

Eric Chandler

a portajohn in Kyrgyzstan

one of my favorite pieces of graffiti:

Toodles, Afghanistan


our chartered airplane followed the great circle west

over territory I didn’t recognize

a long sweep of coastline

probably The Maritimes

the sun gleamed down

through the severe clear


over the St. Croix

between Maine and Canada

reversing waterfalls are nearby

one direction when the tide flows

and the other when it ebbs

I knew where I was then


over the White Mountains

tiny from the air and

vast in my memory

my Limmer boots walked over

forty-eight peaks

I saw my birthplace


I tapped my friend on the shoulder

in the seat in front of me

I pointed down

with a war hangover and said

I was born there



we slid across the northern tier

over the Upper Peninsula

over the old runways

he pointed down

I was born there



faces plastered to the window over the

places we appeared by accident


Eric “Shmo” Chandler is a husband and father who cross-country skis as fast as he can in Duluth, Minnesota. He flew 145 combat sorties in the F-16 during seven trips downrange. His work has appeared in Sleet Magazine, The Talking Stick, O-Dark-Thirty, Aqueous Magazine, Great Lakes Review, Grey Sparrow Journal, and Northern Wilds, to name a few. Visit to read his published fiction, non-fiction, books, and poetry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Lost your password?