Tiny Icarus

Dad started to slip
Words and pavement
His wife took holidays with sister Caitlin
Even pot wouldn’t arouse her
Flushed and sceptically sidelong
And the kids called
Money and trouble

So he ordered a wing kit
As seen in Hundred Days a Bird
Custom featured
Carefully researched
Swapped notes on boards
Followed leads to the good stuff
Practised in front of the Samsung
When she was working late
Began to dream of it
In meetings see himself
Outside the window
Blue miles over his gridlock
Everyone mousy below:

He stormy petrel
Skua calm black cockatoo
A gale in his tail
Loft in his pin feathers
Hot blood and fur on talons
Utterly over it
Little people.

Compared to Lycra Lamborghini
Solid gold jet ski coast view kitchen
Single origin Paleo breast implants
New Orleans pinger brothel princess tats
We have purity
A day of arrival
Simply opened
Simply donned
Everyone should do it
Shame it cost a town-house.

And opening
And rising
And startled yes at first
It isn’t some more grand flight
Isn’t crane
Buzzard romance
Dark or light
A myna
Quarrelling air row torpedo
Still it is flight
It is height
Opposite of weight
Forgotten hate
Known late
Beats never knowing at all.

There has to be a nature you can’t fight
The Indian myna is his truth
A hop and be still in the air
Light though fat high though hopeless
Sure of yourself the way a bigger bird cannot
Is not.

And rising from the glade carefully selected
Near enough the coast and close enough to find home again
Afterward because it’s his first and he may not disappear until a fourth or even tenth
Though not to say goodbye but to refine his aims
While a person can still make aims to give a bird
To make the best departure he can
He pauses.

Gliding past the gloating moment
He knows about hubris
Still something rises to his new throat
Something about walking
A memory of whole body happiness
A snapshot of the myna walking
The rolling clown he has become
Only able to fly
Heart stops
Beak snaps
At nothing.

A bird
Something remarkable
A bird falls dead from the sky
Smacks the gravel verge
Motorists turn from it
And already forgetting
Drive calmly on.

Only the thud in their memories.