The Physics of Flight

February 9, 2012
Richard M. Berlin, MD

Psychiatric Times, Psychiatric Times Vol 29 No 2, Volume 29, Issue 2

While she curses and cries . . . I imagine I am the pilot . . . who ditched his Airbus

As soon as I speak I know

I have become her abusive mother.

While she curses and cries,

I imagine I am the pilot

who ditched his Airbus

into the Hudson after he

checked out all other options.

And as we are about to hit

the river, she catches herself,

pulls out of the dive,

and thanks me for caring enough

to maintain my cool and listen

when she knows she is losing

control. And she tells me how

I make her feel safe enough

to show her rage-

by starting and ending

on time, returning her calls,

always making sure she pays.

But what she considers caring,

I consider routine,

like a pre-flight checklist

when the captain reviews

each system and works the flaps,

the physics of flight

as simple as the power of wind

rushing over wings.