Poems of the Week

Instrument Landing

by Phil Huffy

“American Airlines flier removed from flight despite buying separate seat for her cello.”—USA Today

There is always room for Jell-o,
advertisements used to say.
In the case of someone’s cello,
it turned out the other way.

While its ride most calmly ended
when the flight went outward bound,
a return trip was suspended
and it never left the ground.

For the promised seat was taken
and its passage then refused
while its owner stood, forsaken,
with her dignity abused.

Does the airline merit censure?
Did the pilot act alone?
I’ll find out next time I venture
to transport my bass trombone.