Airport Security by Kate Braid

Poem title: Airport Security
Poet name: Kate Braid
Poem: The old man smiles and bows,
his job a modest one – to guide
this endless line of travellers
to the appropriate security port yet
he greets each of us as if
an Emperor, Empress
who kindly graces his personal doorstep.

Never assuming a single language
(no such rudeness), he raises his head
to scan the next guest,
a gentle gesture of hands and fingers – 
“You are one?  Two?” smiles as if
this is the perfect number for travel 
on this unique day, not to worry.
And when, at the appropriate moment,
he waves with a small bow
toward a certain security check point,
it has transformed, you’re not sure how,
into a gate, not the barrier you 
first mistook it for.

The old man bows to the small child 
in a stroller ahead of you,
says something quietly so the child laughs,
parents too, and we are all suddenly 
lighter, proceed forward, secure, 
blessed in our travels today
by kindness.
End of poem.
Credits and bio: Copyright © Kate Braid
Kate Braid has written, co-written, edited and co-edited 17 books and chapbooks of non-fiction and prize-winning poetry, including with Sandy Shreve, the ground-breaking anthology, “In Fine Form: A Contemporary Look at Canadian Form Poetry.”  She lives in Victoria and on Pender Island with her partner and their puppy, and flies as often as she can to France, to visit her family, including her granddaughter there.