The days when I could fly


at first the world was square, whitewashed,
fragrant with warm yeast and vanilla
walking must have been hard, and then become easy

when the world was blue and green I learned to run
but sometimes I stumbled and fell on my face
I practiced until the day when, although I stumbled
I could save myself before the ground reached me
and soon, I was fleet, sure footed. I ceased stumbling
now I was skilled and could even sprint over sharp rocks
easily leaping from one to the next
I felt as if I was flying

I grew up and life took the place of living
too busy to skip over the shore-line rocks
I became accustomed to walking in an orderly manner
in my grey and brick red world
and I rarely remembered the feel of the wind in
my hair as my feet slapped lightly on the ground

after a while the thought of falling became fearsome
I ceased running altogether
I was careful not even to stumble,
but lately in my multi-coloured world of
sky, trees, roads and houses
the walls have taken to leaning towards me when
I least expect it. I have begun to stumble again
and like the child I recall, unless I am careful
the ground may rise to meet me

it’s not so bad after all; a temporary glitch
but if the day comes when I am unable to rise again
and I flounder, helpless and vulnerable like a baby
while the world around me changes to pastel shades
nurses hold me and cellular blankets enfold me
maybe that, too, will be okay as long as I can hold a pen
see my family
and re-live the days when I could fly

©Jane Paterson Basil


8 thoughts on “The days when I could fly

    1. I think there are people out there who manage to retain a balance, but they’re few, and far between.
      I love it when the right phrase appears from nowhere, but when it happens it never feels as if it is really mine – more like it was given to me as an unearned gift.


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