Icarus, always out in the garage,
him and Dad fucking around with their wax wings.
Dad says, don't fly too high or too low, 
but Icarus has clay ears, he just wants to impress some girl.

What do I know? I'm just his sister.
He'd sooner listen to a goat.
Up, up, excelsior! Higher! 
First he is a feather, then he is a stone.

Here's what I am gonna do:
Men always miss the obvious.
I will fly at night when the sea is calm
and the sky has no distractions.

Up here, I can't tell stars from reflections on the water.
Is this my skin or my wings?
It's quiet--nobody heaving anvils of what-to-do my way.
Is it hubris to have my own heart?

I don't know whether I am rising or falling,
but I am in motion.
The ground or the heavens will open,
and I will glide in, Girl Astronaut, Queen of the One Big Try.

for Ella at Toads.



Sherry Blue Sky said…
Oh my goodness, how I love this! "First he is a feather, then he is a stone".....and then she takes her wild ride out into the night........Queen of the One Big Try. Fantastic!
Ella said…
Queen of Wands(aka Fireblossom)
You had me at wax wings and clay ears! I love the fourth stanza where you soaring above it all:
"Up here, I can't tell star from reflections on the water. Is this my skin or my wings?"
It is your starlight shining your way towards freedom~ I love the light and shadows and how you made me feel like I am in motion with the highs and lows in life's canvas of stars~ WE still have to fight for our right to soar! Bravo, Queen, I love it~
Susie Clevenger said…
The noise of men... It squashes dreams, and puts anvils on freedom. Love this poem!!!
Love the poem. I have tried hard not to squash anyone's dreams, regardless of gender. La la Mosk
Margaret said…
This resonates - Her voice, her thoughts unconsidered - so she screams inside her head and escapes into the sky, the night and glides, silently, the way wide open for her to dream ... and succeed.
Kerry O'Connor said…
I read this last night on my phone, and coming back to it this afternoon, I am struck afresh by the kickass narrative voice. I love the way it ends - so self-affirming and freeing.
And this, of course, is just beautiful:
I can't tell stars from reflections on the water.
Is this my skin or my wings?
The beginning of this was brilliant, and went right on its own beautiful course.
grapeling said…
the rhythm of this, and the voice. a great retelling ~
robkistner said…
Sounds to me Shay like you got the problem figured out. You’d either be a successful woman astronaut or the first woman aquanaut if you happen to fly into the ocean’s stars. Either way, you wouldn’t “fall” for the same mistake your brother made. Great song choice with Stevie!
Carrie Van Horn said…
She understands true freedom in ways they never will. Love the thoughts and images in this Shay! Perfect Steve song to accompany it!