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,
he rose when it was cool and dawning,
pink light, morning mists

came down hard
when he ignored the warning,
avoid the sun his father said, be deaf
to what arrogance insists!

he fell to death by scientific unbelieving:
gravity, heat, and wax don’t mix

Jim Culleny