Another Take, with Prologue, on Landscape with the Fall of Icarus
As youth will, knowing nothing but to soar
on a spring day’s rush of baby-green sprout
and lemon haze, too much aching to resist,
he ignores warning; hoots and yowls as he climbs
the thermals, pushes up and up, vein-bulged arms
and legs pumping, swimming the clouds,
gasping his ecstasy, watching farm and hill
give way to the coast. Drums out over the sea’s
cerulean heave, thrusts higher, higher, as it recedes,
appears a puddle, prone to dry to saline flakes
before day’s end. Now the sun grows attainable,
a wild tale for his grandchildren, and he pumps higher,
pores weeping in the effort (easily cooled once
he’s made history). Higher still, heat, sweat,
hot drops on shoulders, more hot drops and wings
have grown smaller; the sun suddenly farther.
When survival keeps grown-up heads down
in planting’s and herding’s urgency, dinner’s catch,
and shipping’s commerce, why worry strung feathers,
bits of congealed wax, two legs kicking sudden
on sea’s surface. Splash. A young fool’s foiled.
Bernadette McBride, author of three poetry collections, most recently, Whatever Measure of Light (Kelsay Books, 2016), is poetry editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal. She is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a Pennsylvania county Poet Laureate, and poetry winner, second place, for the International Ray Bradbury Writing Award. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including The Ekphrastic Review, Cider Press Review, Philadelphia Stories, and Ragged Sky Press as well as journals in the UK, Canada, and on PRI's The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor. She welcomes your visit atbernadettemcbrideblog.wordpress.com.
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