Anser Journal

Guarulhos

By Thaina Joyce

When I was four, my dad took me to the airport to show me
airplanes that looked bigger than a bird soaring in the sky.
We strolled to the east wing of Guarulhos and marvelled
at the flying machines. Terminal 2 was our secret

viewing spot. He folded himself to my height and pointed to a Boeing 757
descending onto the runway gentle as a paper plane landing on the grass.
His favorite stories to tell were about the crew and the passengers he never met.
That plane was arriving from Paris, bringing home a family of four exhausted

from their two-week lavish vacation. He fueled my imagination and I
took flight. I could hear the restlessness of Sao Paulo in
the sound of overpacked suitcases rushing over the terrazzo floor as I tried
to decode the ping-pong chatter. People’s eyes like broken

faucets as they embraced their loved ones’ welcomes and goodbyes.
That was the moment my wanderlust was born. A loud voice echoed
through the waiting hall announcing a last call to board:
They can’t miss their flight, I told him.

He smiled in his silence, but the tightening of his hand in mine told me
he knew. He held me close to his heart until fifteen years later when they announced:
last boarding call for United Airlines,
flight to JFK airport, New York.
Passengers, please report to gate 27.

This is my flight, dad.
He released my hand from his and said he’d be watching me from the east wing.
Right foot first, I was boarding my own adventure. The pilot prepared for take-off,
my head in the clouds and my heart anchored on the ground. I could hardly
see the gates through my tiny eyelid window, but I knew that he’d always

be waiting.


Thaina Joyce (she/her) is a Brazilian-American poet and educator based in Maryland. Her poetry has been featured at Neuro Logical Magazine, Eucalyptus & Rose, and Sledgehammer Lit. She has poems forthcoming at Olney Magazine and Black Cat Magazine. She hopes her work will empower, connect the human experience, and evoke new perspectives.