When the need came for me to fly
I pictured a juvenile red-tailed hawk,
her gray feathers fingering rising air,
playing the nocturne of her flight.
Soon afterward contractions began;
I severed the cord that held me since birth
and breast stroked through the sea heavy air.
See me? I’m flying! I shout to a nest
of vipers, those that were born on
the cul-de-sac—still reaching for my feet.
In this way I labored above the cliffs,
pushing and swimming to maintain height;
then when I fell, an explosion of wings.
Some might say that I changed when I fell.
As if to scream is to find freedom.
As if to fall is the birth of flight.