Show of Power

We gathered in the hospital parking lot with anticipation
like waiting for a parade. 
Sheriff Jackson greeted me with an elbow bump; 
we have new ways in these pandemic days.

I joined a crowd looking up and waiting for the show of power to appear from the west.
“There they are!” a voice shouted.  
By the time my eyes found the fighting falcons they were disappearing in the east.

The nano-second of supersonic power shattered the sky
we stood there mesmerized and wondering, 
That’s it? Only two? 
Still looking for more to appear.

Someone wondered aloud if the planes would loop, 
come back for a second pass.
We stood there.  Watching.  Waiting.

Suspended in awe by a show of power; 
these F-16s manufactured for war and destruction, 
I can’t help but think of duality: power and oppression.     

Then sky watchers began to leave and a traffic jam formed.
The planes had been so fast in the clear skyway above, 
while gridlock now formed on the highway below.

The sun was strong and the wind was not.
I remained seated on a large flat rock 
reflecting on the power from above.  

MORE: See all of our Write On, Colorado entries and learn how to submit your own here.


I don’t know their names but he drives a little KIA the back seat piled high with clothing like he and the woman with him are living in their car.  The front right fender is crushed like an accident without insurance.

And today in the drive-thru lunch line I saw his windshield with a new wound, an intentional hit from a baseball bat or maybe a big rock, a sprawling white spider web center and front.  The kind of smash that says, “I hate you.”

I don’t know their names but he drives a dark grey KIA—and today with a smashed windshield.

Mary Van Pelt is a writer who lives in Alamosa.