I first knew something had changed
when I thought,
“my wing has fallen asleep” —
my wing? I sat up heavily.
The dog ran from the room
as I spread my wings out
six feet either side of my body
I ran from the house
and all the birds for miles
My cat eyed me coolly.
I leapt and fell.
leapt and fell.
I ran around the yard
trying to glide.
I climbed on the picnic table
and fell on my face
my wings folded elegantly behind me.
My neighbor came out at the commotion
and I wrapped my wings
around my nakedness.
“Why are you wearing a leather cape?,” she asked.
It’s sort of a gift, I answered.
Since that day, I’ve gotten used to the stares
I’ve learned to wax my wings
against the creaking
and the mites.
I sleep standing up —
rarely upside down.
I’ve jumped from buildings, bridges and planes
each time falling like a stone.
Some gifts are hard to take.
Some gifts aren’t all that great. mjh
[for another take on this imagery, see going home]
Listen to Icarus
My Virtual Chapbook (table of contents)