Posts Tagged ‘flight’




She tried to fly

by catching moths

and tying their wings

to herself.


He tried to fly

by studying flight

as if reading

were enough.


But in their drive

to fly they both

lost sight of what

they had—


two legs that leap

and run and walk,

and kick and climb

and dance.

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Somewhere in the 100 billion cells

of my brain is the memory

of the playground in second grade

when Jenny told me birds could fly

because their bones were hollow,

and, she reasoned, if we could lose

enough weight, we, too,

could have hollow bones, and we, too

could fly.


Surely linked to that memory

are thousands of other neurons

that disprove her claim—

neurons related to air pressure, thrust,

strong breast muscles, osteoporosis—

but there is, perhaps,

still one cell in there somewhere

across the synaptic gap,

that lights up at the memory

of Jenny’s suggestion

as if to say,

wow, that’s cool,

let’s try it.












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Winging It

What will our children do in the morning if they do not see us fly?
—Rumi, “The Way Wings Should,” translated by Daniel Ladinsky

Dear Rumi,

You tell me to fly, to cartwheel
around the sky, to soar, to reel,
to spiral in the wind. But
there is a nest and two hungry mouths
and two bodies not yet fully feathered.
It’s easy enough for you to advise
I should let my heart play,
as you say, “the way
wings should.” You
probably had someone else
at your nest to care for your
young while you unfurled
your wings and wheeled with Shams
and felt the joy of rising.
Perhaps I am too literal.
Perhaps you mean later in life.
Perhaps you mean bit by bit.
Perhaps you mean fly in this moment,
wherever I am. Perhaps you mean
I have put too much of a cage
on the word “should,”
have limited notions
of what flying looks like.
I thought I knew what wings
should do. But maybe this letting
go of what I thought I needed,
perhaps this, too, is flight.

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