Tag Archives: 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
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


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

Listen to Icarus

My Virtual Chapbook (table of contents)

going home

I never thought
how noisy it would be:
the wind through my feathers
squeaks and rustles
as I pull and release
my wings like
a rower through air.
Pull and lift and fly,
rest and soar and drop.
Now an angel,
now Icarus.
My place determined
by my own strength.

Now rowing,
now sailing through
the breath of the world.
My wings grow larger with every beat.
They become clouds.
Only now am I free
of Icarus’ fate.

There is nothing quite
like going home. mjh

2005? [Previously published on: Apr 16, 2006]

Listen to Going Home (36 seconds)

My Virtual Chapbook (table of contents)