Poem Of The Week | International Arrivals by Nathanael O’Reilly

International Arrivals

Nathanael O’Reilly

Loved ones, colleagues and limo drivers
crowd the space behind the barriers
waiting for flights to arrive
from Asia, Mexico, the Caribbean,
Europe and the Middle East

families sit at tables with coffee
or stand around in groups
holding helium balloons, flowers
and Welcome Home signs

limo drivers stand motionless
holding the names of clients
in front of their stomachs

restless kids squeal, skip,
squirm and run around

teenagers and adults occupy
their wait times with smartphones
looking up from screens
each time the automatic doors
open and passengers emerge
into the arrivals hall

groups of pilots and cabin crews
stride confidently through the doorway
ready for drinks at the hotel bar

business travelers walk directly
towards waiting drivers and shuttles

airline staff push elderly passengers
in wheel chairs with one hand, tow
luggage carts with the other

sunburnt families emerge wearing
hats, shorts and flip-flops
scan the crowd for their ride

fathers push luggage carts
piled high with suitcases

mothers push strollers, hold kids’
hands tightly, issue instructions

waiting loved ones run towards
new arrivals, exchange kisses, hugs
and flowers, wipe away tears
take luggage and hands, move
towards the exit with relief


Submissions are open for all HeadStuff poetry categories, including Poem of The Week (Every Friday), Unbound (longer sequence of poems from a single poet), and New Voices (submissions from poets under the age of 30.) We accept both written, audio and video recorded poems as long as the quality of the audio and video is of a high standard.

Please see our Submissions page for more information.

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

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