Delusional

Take these wings. I have
no business in the sky.
From now on I shall confine myself
to smaller sections of an arc,
go back to the bitter
milk I was weaned on
at the silk-parachute plant.
None of this erratic dancing
about on a trajectory
that’s impossible to plot.
That’s not how dragon-
flies do it, much less wrens,
airplanes or hummingbirds.
My piloting mechanism must have
a fatal flaw, & I lack
the strength to climb much higher
than the hills. I have
no business flying, & aim to stop—
as soon as I can figure out
how to get back in that mummy
sack, the chrysalis.
Whatever made me dream up
some place called Mexico?

5 Replies to “Delusional”

  1. Just absolutely beautiful, Dave. Is Mexico the flame to your moth who might like to fly with the Monarchs? I’m always afraid to ask about a poem, because of my unfailing ability to fall through the imagery into a wrong place. This could have been a person.. and

    I actually was taken by that “have no strength to climb much higher than the hills’ and from there went off on my own personal dream flying delusion. I rarely even attempt anything in a serious vein, but I’m getting too old not to give it a shot.

    Time Travel

    My dreams of flying lack the gift of loft
    No transcendental trips appear to me
    I pierce no holes in overhanging clouds
    Nor seek to add more footprints to the moon
    Instead I hover just above the trees
    Arms in clumsy breast stroke flailing wild
    Frantic to return to childhood home
    Where my beloved dead are still alive
    Quick! Quick! Before I wake to mourn

    1. Hi Joan — The reference species here is in fact a monarch (the caterpillars feed exclusively on plants in the milkweed family, hence “bitter milk” and “parachute plant”). I like your poem — “the gift of loft” is very resonant, and the ending works for me. Nice to see a writer of light verse, uh, stretching her wings!

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