The poem is about an old man and an old woman greeting each other at an airport by kissing passionately. The author describes how everyone around them watches intensely and that the kiss goes on for a while. Ellen Bass uses many similes when trying to express the intensity of this kiss. She then goes on to write about how it compares to the love between a mother and her newborn baby.
Bass’s poem is unusual because the couple is not the typical idea of what is sexy. The couple is old and the woman is chubby. This is remarkable for a poem like this because usually such passion is only talked about in regards to attractive youthful people. I like this poem and I like that it broke the tradition of only youthful love and lust. Later in the poem when Bass compares his smile to a mother’s awe it is extremely moving.