Tuesday, February 5, 2013


When He Could Fly

It's not a lie to say that, as a child,
I was dead afraid of heights.
And yet somehow that fear did not extend to sleep,
Where dreams of flight took me to Mars,
The moon, and Neverland by night,
With Pan and Hook and, best of all, my sweet/strict Wendy.

Somehow I flew right into waking day.
Daydreams came first,
But later, only slightly less light than the air,
I'd fly and fly and fly again--
Off the house,
Out of trees,
Off the shed my father built,
Landing on the bending oleanders,
Smashing down the planted boundary between ours and theirs.

The first time I dunked in a game,
My man cheated for the steal and left the lane wide open.
How many times had I done just this in practice and dreams?
How many times had I wished it, daydreamed it,
Worked extra on my vertical leap while heavier teammates hurried out to eat.

Like Julius, the Doctor, you take off from the top,
One bounce then go and throw the damn thing down.
He's on my hip now--
Turn and dribble, bend, explode, then fly.

Brent says he tried to bump me coming back on D,
Keith too and Bobby A.
They said I just ran past,
As if I didn't see them.
I saw the specks far down below
From where I hid up in the rafters,
Resting for a moment before floating off,
Free and fearless,
To Wendy
And to where I wouldn’t fall.

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