The days when I could fly

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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

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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.

      Like

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