Instruments of Flight


Her wings unfurled at the oddest times.

She bumped her head on the ceiling when it was least convenient.


all of the signs flash walk

or stand still,

as if these are the only options,

how could anyone think any differently?


Her mother hissed, “walk like a lady.”

Her father sighed that, “men prefer women who are salt of the earth.”

Her children plopped mud on her shoes.

Her husband called for dinner.


She noticed others, of course,

young ones and old

obviously acquainted with gravity but

maintaining a respectable distance

their skirts and sweaters buoyant

when a cool breeze swirled and,

the fall leaves

skittered a foot

beneath their feet.


One afternoon

right in the middle of the vacuuming,

her feet pedaled for the carpet,

she didn’t panic;

she just didn’t understand.


Even while air-


her lightness,

her very



were a truth

she was unable to accept.