A Dream of Flight

From early on

I dreamt of flight.

By day I was a puny schoolboy,

by night a man of steel,

cape billowing in full sail,

ears ringing with the wind

as I soared over

toy cars and houses and stores.

From far below

my tiny mother waved at me

and I waved back.


In my super tee,

emblazoned with a bold red “S”

against a field of gold,

I could outrace the fastest train,

overleap the tallest building,

corral the masterminds of crime

as if they were stray mongrels

destined for the pound.


At least by night.


My cousin Lee,

who seldom ran on

all four cyclinders,

determined he would fly by day,

and so he pulled his dyed red undies

over blue pajamas

and climbed up to the roof.

“Don’t do it Lee,” I cried

but he had already jumped.



We found him face down

in the sandbox

with a broken collar bone

and two bruised arms,

telling anyone who’d listen

that before the ground rose up

to meet him like a bully’s fist,

he had tasted for

one brief moment

the miracle of flight.


(Originally published in Poised in Flight anthology)

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