The Windsock

by Paul A. Freeman
The Write Idea
Third Place, March 2020
Judged by R.T. Castleberry

In her bright orange garb
the windsock startles the pre-dawn dullness.
She’s a rare jewel
set in the dun desert flatness,
her tapered body wriggling in the currents of the sky
like a newly-hatched grub.

Secured atop a steel mast,
she revels in her flag-waving freedom
and the liberty of isolation
offered by the expanse
of a fenced-in prison.

When dust storms bowl across the plain,
filling the air with scouring grit,
she flaps and flops and flails,
as helpless as a landed fish
gawping in the throes of suffocation,
worn out and wearied by the frenetic airflow.

At other times she’s limp and still,
beset by the humiliation of aerial dysfunction.
Like an impotent old codger
she fades away
in the grip of endless sunshine.

And yet,
pale and ragged as she is,
she seizes the attention of a lost pilot,
guides him to the ‘H’ of a nearby helipad,
whispering in his ear
the wind direction
and the wind speed
as she brings him home.

An amusing, extended--to great height, metaphor. --R.T. Castleberry