Still dark, my baby girl leaps out the window to greet the rising sun. I stand below ready to catch her, but every time she takes off without fail, her laughter calling to the orioles, calling to my shame that had I the choice, I would have never taught her to fly. Somewhere there is a man with a gun who will take pleasure in seeing her skin against the pure blue sky— and shooting her down. My own mother did not flinch when I first raised my arms and lifted my feet off the ground, above her head. She only said you better hope bulletproof skin comes with that gift. Years later I found out it did.
Copyright © 2017 by Gary Jackson. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 3, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
Gary Jackson is the author of Missing You, Metropolis (Graywolf Press, 2010), which was selected by Yusef Komunyakaa as winner of the 2009 Cave Canem Poetry Prize.
Date Published: 2017-11-03
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/fly-0