We are flying to Helena on the Fourth of July
on Delta’s 7:55 p.m. flight
(long ago changed from the 1:30 p.m. flight I actually booked).
There is no captain.
The airport is mostly closed for the holiday, but
Delta’s gate agent calls pretzels and candy “food”
and reminds us that Delta is treating us well.
At 10 p.m. Delta announces what we knew hours ago:
The flight is canceled.
We will not be in Helena tonight.
Delta offers accommodations.
By 11 p.m. it is our turn.
More than thirty passengers ahead of us,
the hotel shuttle holds ten,
and the shuttle headway between hotel and airport is one-half hour.
We do the math, give up,
and call a cab.
The sky is dark and still
when we arrive home,
after the fireworks have ended.
Not Delta’s finest moment.