stranger on a plane

by The Cowl Editor on September 30, 2021


airplane wing and clouds
Photo courtesy of

by Marelle Hipolito ’22


flight delayed, NYC heavy rains

“sit tight,” the pilot said.

I sit tight and look out the window

It’s a cloudy night

I sit tight and look at the people in the seats around me

Business suit, foot tapping anxiously

Khaki shorts, humming a song softly

And just like me, you wore ripped jeans.

one hour of sitting tight under the heavy rain

the pilot says: “never mind…we gotta deplane!

come back to the gate in another hour

hopefully by then it’s just light showers”

We all stand up, and I see your face

In the center of dark straight hair

Eyes dark from sitting tight

We all exit the gate and go our separate ways.

Yet somehow you and I go to the same restaurant, tables 7 & 8 

Ten minutes later, after you order and then I do

We hear over the microphone: “everyone, the weather cleared up! Come back to gate 2!”

You and I look at each other, down our drinks and take our food to go

And we both go sprinting to the gate, to board & go to different homes

Once we are seated, between the business suit and the khaki shorts

We look at each other, laugh and smile, and then we fly.

Once we land, before I noticed, I lose you at baggage claim

Oh stranger wearing ripped jeans on the plane

I can’t wait to tell this story, I wish I got your name