First Flight


—first flight, stuff of myth
Icarus trussed in bird machine
strapped to shoulders back
arms and wrists

—quills held tight by hope and wax:
built of what creativity consists,
went up when it was cool and dawning,
pink light and morning mists

—came down hard
when he ignored the warning:
avoid the sun they said, be deaf
to what arrogance insists

—death by scientific misbelieving
gravity and heat and wax don’t mix

Jim Culleny