FLIGHT – F.R. Martinez

Black shadow wings across my path
streaks across the red gravel
of the prison yard track:
a bird overhead
like a passing evil thought,
a premonition.

Etched against harsh sunlight
my own shadow, solid and solemn,
plods on, step by step,
a struggle to move this body
old bone, muscle, sinew
tired of the weight
and the years
and the barking of guards
and the inane chatter of inmates.

Effortless, swift, the bird glides past.
No need to beat its wings
caught in the thermal updraft
of this hot day
this on-and-on day
this stagnant pool of a day.

Its flight is symbolic of freedom
only symbolic.
It is no less a prisoner
than I,
trapped by instinct, appetites,
a blind fawning servant of
of biochemical processes,
of natural law,
defeating gravity only momentarily,
a simulacrum
of hope
of unrealized yearning.


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