prompt #6, dream of flight

Icarus ~

they were always at my heels
which dangled just above their heads
only sometimes out of reach

some nights they were faces I knew
some nights they were ominous anonymous
some nights I escaped them

the nights they clawed me back to earth
I struggled, overcome by hands like talons
my wings flailing, thrashing against gravity

and whatever earthbound means ~ its own
gravity of inner landscape, the ways ordinary
struggles to clip the primaries of flight ~

their clutching hands wore those meanings
like golden manacles      wore them proudly
secure in their rejection of the sky above them

always they reached from the earth below
minor demons in some avian morality play
while I fought my solitary darkling battle

this, I told myself, is what pride does
what it means to work to learn thermals
& the language of the wind

to tumble every night like Icarus lost
a covert of feathers caught in a wayward breeze
remiges and rectrices in the hands of strangers.

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