To Plane by Jacqueline Henry

old 1900 photograph of a boy planing a piece of wood
Woodworking courtesy of Woodworking for Beginners: a Manual for Amateurs by Charles G. Wheeler.

I think about the word plane
as my daughter sands the picnic
table, a task she takes on every
summer, earbuds in, goggles on, the
sander whizzing as it strips off
layers of stain.

A plane flies overhead. Biplane.
Some words and sounds put me into
other places, her planing wood,
the biplane planing the sky
mowing through layers of
space and time as

she orbits the wood, navigating
deeper into another place—another
plane—of existence beneath
the sawdust, banking and gliding
as the globe turns, her body

mirroring the motion in the sky.


Jacqueline Henry
Jacqueline Henry is a writer, editor and creative writing instructor. Her work has appeared recently in such journals as: Abstract Magazine, After the Pause, The Cape Rock, Carbon Culture Review, Euphony, LitBreak, and Prism. When not writing or teaching, she volunteers as a rape crisis counselor and as a Reiki practitioner for Hospice.

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