Learning to Fly

The first desire of the child
is to fly, which is why children

The beginning is a bold statement and it works well. – Patty Schlutt, age 15

after crawling or standing,
walking or finally learning to run
are often found perched
atop a stack of books on a high chair,
hanging, one hand on the wall,
the other clutching a light fixture,
peering up, up, as if the earth
were another womb to break free from,

I like how this poem is really seeing everything through the eyes of a child. Kids are always exploring, curious, and in these lines, we too, are able to be kids again. – Rachel Talen, age 22

 
and once we resign ourselves to life
on foot, it becomes the desire of dreams,

These nine words hold so much weight: the actual weight of our dreams being given up. - Patty Schlutt, age 15

so the dream becomes possibility,
and waking, a kind of disappointment.
We try to fall back to sleep
before the dream flies away

This is a nice way of bringing the flying theme back into the poem. – Amy Fleming, age 17
How beautiful. It is interesting how no matter how hard we try, we can only catch the tail end of our dreams, and later remember fragments of its gentle brushing past us. – Rachel Talen, age 22

but arrive in time to feel only the brush
of wind from its feathers

Humans have always been most fascinated by things that are just out of reach. That is why we dream, because dreams have no boundaries. – Rachel McGuinness, age 18

 
until finally,
a life of this desire takes form
and in old age
we come to resemble birds,
hands stiffened to claws,
eyes darting around our heads
which seem to tilt back
as if setting a course,
as if we will grow wings
sometime very soon.

This ending line leaves us on edge, as if we any minute we expect the wings to grow. - Patty Schlutt, age 15
The evolution imagery in this poem is strikingly beautiful. The cycle of life brings us closer to flying in physical and mental form, yet begs the question: when we are able, will we remember how to fly? – Rachel McGuinness, age 18
This poem has a sort of hauntingly beautiful sadness to it, in that it so perfectly captures the ceaseless, yet often futile human quest for a sense of purpose and meaning that transcends the routine and the ordinary, an existence of a higher order. – Kyle Austin, age 22
Through the 3rd Eye was supported in its inception by the Grand Rapids Humanities Council and is currently made possible by continued volunteer effort and private support. Copyright 2013.