Monthly Archives: October 2012

Unfixable

Last week standing on Monhegan’s headlands, alongside other sweat-soaked
first-timers with their trail-maps, cameras, sloshing water bottles, it happened
again. They shushed their children and we all looked down on wheeling
gulls, slope-browed eiders, gannets gliding inches above
the rumpled-shirt surface of the waves.  A little girl in red
shorts clambered up a boulder, flapped her arms,
cried out, I’m flying! She had to be gathered in
mid-leap by her father. On those cliffs, sky-spill
and sea-tilt blending blues, wings everywhere,
even the yellow fans of clicking grasshoppers,
I felt this familiar, spreading sense of seepage,
as if I were bleeding but unable to locate the source.
The day was all leaking away before filling up;
there was no way to fix it, no container
sound enough to keep the above
from trickling into the below,
to yoke me to the moment,
to prevent sky from sliding
down lopsided like broken
blinds, waves from scattering
into feathers, or birds
from whirling into
children who slip
over an edge,
unnoticed and
uncatch-
able.

“Unfixable” was the winning Goodreads poem of the month in April, 2012.

 

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