Gratitude at Auckland Airport, November 2018

For the little things …
The rough uneven pavers with spring weeds sprouting in the cracks
The painted path between International and Domestic
The travellers asleep in the sun beside it
The lawn they’re allowed to lie on
The modest terminal, its low ceiling
The little bird swooping beneath it
The tip of its beak picking crumbs from the carpet
The Travelex booth
The Indian guy at the counter
His smile, his Indian English
The magazines in the shop
The words in them
The labels on the food
The Indian guy at the counter
His smile, his Indian English
The privilege of my Australian passport
The prepaid SIM, no questions asked
The Maori woman at the counter
Her smile, her sentences, her SIM ejector
The Footrot Flats families waiting to board
Their sun-squint crows feet
Their sprawl, their fat, their cackling laughs
The absence of military police
The boarding pass in English
The walk to the plane through sweet bright air
The sight of distant trees

First published in Locus, Out of the Asylum (OOTA) Writers 2019

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