The journey took Lord Byron several months
But I intend to do it in a day.
A bus stop near the Vatican I hunt
an airport bus arrives – I’m on my way.
The boarding pass is ready on my phone.
(No print outs – travel’s easier today)
but then it makes an unexpected tone,
and goes black – and then there’s no display.
I click the buttons, no sign of life.
A paper print out would have saved this strife.
The Roman traffic means the bus is late,
though luckily the phone comes back to life.
Security stops my quick walk to the gate –
the scanner rings (as though I have a knife).
I don’t, but still I’m treated like a crook.
‘Stand there!’ – I wait on a yellow mark.
From my hands and waist a fellow took
some sort of swab. ‘Don’t move!’ he liked to bark.
Eventually he decides I am no threat.
I race through FCO to find my jet.
The flight’s delayed, the gate is changèd twice.
You need to concentrate to get back home.
A stewardess leans to give me some advice
about emergencies – I’m in the exit zone.
If we crash I have to save the day
and open up the door to save us all.
My neighbour says – ‘We crash? there is no way
we will survive enough to door-ward crawl’.
But soon – alive! – we land (it’s pretty chilly)
and head back home along the Piccadilly.
The Travel Poet