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January 2013, vol 8, no 4

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Mary Frederick Ahearn


When we were young, we wore wings. We lived unfettered, free of grave thoughts, and shadows, at one with air and light. We didn't know this. We didn't have to know this.

When did our wings begin to falter, to hesitate? In mid-air when the sky thickened and darkened? Or it may have been that morning when we woke up to sense the air as a separate element and the light altered. At last we felt the strength of gravity, its dominance and pull – and our bondage to it. We learned the art of gravitas through loss and time. We saw our real faces.

Our wings withered, dry and stiff, useless, invisible even to those gods who had given them to us, if only for a brief time. Never angels, we nevertheless became fallen ones.

falling stars
in slow motion
a glimmer of fireflies