Volume 24, Number 3

Security Guidelines

With a knife chipped
from obsidian and attached
to bone with duct tape

during a flinting session
at Camp Highlander,
wrapped in dirty laundry

and stowed in his backpack,
sneakers still on his feet
because he’s “12 and under,”

my son passed through
the machines at the deserted
Asheville airport and stood

on the other side, biting
an ingrown nail into an infection,
while my luggage was sent

through again and again. First,
they questioned the contact
lens solution in its recycled

bottle; then, the tube of anti-
wrinkle eye cream. They settled
for confiscating my toothpaste,

1.4 ounces over the limit,
and lectured me on how
to travel with toiletries.

Bless these ladies who have seen
so little of weaponry
and have even less to do.

—Jen Karetnick