I heard the light crash like thunder into the darkness.
Saw the obsidian surrounding my cage
Heard the screams and wails and curses
turn to laughter, songs, and shouts of joy.
For too long
I walked under the canopy,
shielded from everything.
And the light broke
through the darkness.
I saw the sky blue swatch of sky
flecked and speckled with drifting clouds,
felt the breeze of an early summer evening
cool on my skin.
The slope of the climb
to the world above was gentle, easy
My heart rejoiced.
My will rebelled.
I wanted this light,
this blue, this breeze.
But I burrowed
further down and broke
and sent it on its way.
If honey ran in mountain streams
the sugar sparkling in moonbeams
and I could hear the screech-owl’s screams
would I then have the sweetest dreams…
Of flying into starlight
with very keen eyesight
having a smooth flight
upon the winds of night?
Would I return with morning sun
the majic of my wings undone
or shattered by the hunter’s gun
(perhaps a god was having fun)?
To then become a man again
staring at the horizon
sheltered in an empty den
the earth’s poor earth-bound citizen?
Would I keep flying into space
to some far, timeless secret place
not to rejoin the human race
as cosmic winds caress my face?
I would prefer the last
and not think upon the past
That time when I was one of you
Unless you wish to travel too….
I thought you would.
© Alfred W. Smith Jr.
June 25th, 1983
The Sweet, Wise Cosmic Dream / Assorted Absurdities (a poetry collection)
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