Icarus

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
(no exaggeration).
I ran from the house
and all the birds for miles
were silent.
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
jumped
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
and whispers.
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

9/7/2004

[for another take on this imagery, see going home]


Listen to Icarus

My Virtual Chapbook (table of contents)

Facebook Comments