They say
if man were made to fly,
he’d have been born with wings.

They forget
the summer child astride a bike,
who pumps her legs to lift off crest of railroad incline
where silver tracks criss-cut road
to soar down asphalt,
wind-whipped hair snarling rough
open mouth to feel the tongue, the cheeks, the lips shrivel
parched of slimy spit
taste unlucky gnats.

The brave bird knows
To lift her arms,
remove her grip from handlebars,
search for weightless speed,
defy the gravity
that chains her mother to the ground.

Mary Ellen Greenwood


Mary Ellen Greenwood is a writing instructor at Utah State University in Logan, Utah.

© 2018