Suspend for a moment
your faith in the orderly
progression of time.
Discover your first image upon
abandonment of that notion is of
an eagle chick not yet fledged
tumbling from its high nest,
then suddenly sprouting feathers
and flying to avoid the drowning
promised by the lake rushing up
from below to shatter the bird.
Don’t you feel better?
Things, at least in your head,
don’t have to make sense to work. Imagine it
as having left your mother’s purse
in the jailhouse where she died
and going back to find in her cell
baby pictures from the wallet
(pictures of you sprouting wings)
plastered everywhere. In the visitor’s room,
some have been made into posters:
“Have you seen this bird? Have you seen this child?”
It’s got some kick to it, this fantasy, doesn’t it?
It doesn’t have to make any more sense than that.
Go with it, rinse yourself
in the milk of it,
taste the reminder
that before anyone slapped you dumb
with education and indoctrination,
you believed you could be an eagle
when you grew up. How bitter it is
to have remembered this so late in life,
when your mother and father have long
passed and can’t possibly soothe you.
You could have flown, been
iconic, been in this all the way.