Under My Wing

For Stephanie Bennett-Henry

 

I have never felt a smooth landing
beneath my feet, nor have I ever
been lucky enough to tuck one under
my wing and breathe great gusts
of relief as if I had been saved.
I know what it’s like to scrape myself
and pull away from the concrete
with a mouthful of blood and fear.
I know how that bloody fear tastes
like defeat when I wipe it from my mouth.
I have felt courage, and I know how
it fills my lungs with the taste
of triumph when I get back up and cross
the finish line of every race
I never signed up to run.
I may have never felt a smooth landing
beneath my feet, or ever been lucky
enough to tuck one under my wing,
but I know how it feels to close
my eyes and jump blindly without
anything to save me, but how well I ride
the fall; hard and fast, and always free.

© Nicole Lyons 2018

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