Backward we traveled to reclaim the day
Before we fell, like Icarus, undone;
All we find are altars in decay
And profane words scrawled black across the sun.
—Sylvia Plath

He dreamed of air, the emptiness of blue.
So much temptation to flight, to wings blazing in the sun.
He was grounded from that world, a shadow of its realities.
Flesh of my flesh, stubborn father of this harsh weather,
Your anger bled among the delicate shoals of stars;
Casting pain among the frightful children of time.

Memory is a half-shadow, a hammer coming down on all we were,
And like a son who would honor a father we flew, flew free
Of the earth and gathered clouds in our wake till flames engulfed us.
The myth of childhood innocence, a paradise without memory,
Where each day sounds its feathered dreams of hawks and eagles.
Watching the fiery spectacle you stood there helpless as a stone,
Mind shaped to the broken body of a thought become real;
And now memory is a burden past measure, a dark shadow falling…

©2021 S.C. Hickman