My mother appeared in the doorway of the silver aircraft,
not anybody’s mother yet,
eighteen, warm-brown-eyed and slender in her
deep, soft, thick, ankle-length beaver coat.
She descended the stairway to the tarmac —-
there were no tunnels from the womb of a 747 cabin
out to the terminal then —-
and since there had been a shower of rain,
slipped off her shoes and skipped over puddles
toward the gateway to life in New York;
and by golly right there, leaning on a pillar,
eyes flashing with insouciance, was the actor
Brian Donlevy, he of the pencil-thin mustache,
waiting for someone who could not possibly be
more young and beautiful than my brown-eyed mother,
slender in her heavy, voluptuous coat.
Donlevy tipped his hat back with a manicured hand
and laughed a perfect movie-star laugh
that showed his merriment and his white, even teeth.
My mother recognized him —- she had seen him in Beau Geste
not long before —- reddened,
and walked on by into the portal to the world beyond.