by Laura Parker Roerden

Every night now the swallows

fall and rise over the hayfield,

slicing the sky as if skinning it open

to feed on insects.

 

I can imagine DaVinci must have seen them.

His drawings of flying machines spoke of

curved elegance; of momentum that turns

planes of existence upside, down.

 

of alacrity, and dreams made visible

by wind; aloft a spark of heart applied

to mathematics that unified computation,

through he held a simple pencil to paper.

 

Our ancestor’s myths rose like birds and

connected us to truth as sinew,

told us of our place in clan,

in dirt and cosmos.

 

But modern myths divide us.

They take off as false words and ideas

—paper facts crumbled in

clumsy knuckles of hate.

 

They do nothing to open hope’s heart;

They do not flip the trigger in your throat

that speaks only of the rising and falling

and dawn that is now;

 

DaVinci was said to buy birds at market

And set them free.

What would he think of the

cages we now willingly enter?

 

Yes, our myths will never fly;

they separate us from the land and each other

like a knife expertly removes bone

from flesh. If we accept it in hand,

 

we will never be able to fly like the swallow

in sheer and shameless truth.

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