All you aeronautical types will sneer, but ever since I found the term as a child, I have been fascinated by an airplane part called the oleo strut.
What poetry! How could one fit it into a poem without laughing out loud? Perhaps Billy Collins could do it, since his work is meant to make you laugh out loud...or, at the very least, smile broadly.
According to Random House Dictionary, here's what it is:
oleo strut: a hydraulic device used as a shock absorber in the landing gear of aircraft, consisting of an oil-filled cylinder fitted with a hollow, perforated piston into which oil is slowly forced when a compressive force is applied to the landing gear, as in a landing.In other words, it makes your re-contact with terra firma less jolting.
But has there ever been a more joyful name for a shock absorber? If we were all born with oelo struts that could absorb the shocks, the slings and arrows of fate, why we'd be...almost immortal. And if not immortal, at least a hell of a lot kinder to one another than we are now.
Anyone who arrived with a built in oleo strut would come out laughing, delighted to be here. With an oleo strut the fall from grace to howling birth would be fun. We could dance through life doing the oleo strut with perfect rhythm, always landing on both feet.