My papa, Daedalus, the first architect,
vowed I’d thrive, inviting me to follow
at his heel. Intoxicated by the lullaby
of his rasp and hammer, echoing
through my slumber, I’d stand beside him
while he scanned each design, trying
to make certain his mechanisms
would last. He’d never filter discourse,
but spoke to me as an adult. Clear
and direct. His totem was the crow. Cunning
and devious. Unable to resist the glint
of the forbidden. Who thought he’d venture
the wings I imagined? Laboring months,
convinced he’d prevail. He’d daub each feather,
plundered from falcons, with tallow. When we
found the perfect mountain, he was
meticulous, timing for the strongest updrafts.
Perhaps if I’d ever felt actual agony.
Perhaps if I’d enlisted to obey
the centurion’s behest. The cadence
of warriors gleaming, in buffed bronze.
Perhaps if I’d stumbled, I might have
ignored the surge, the revelation
of velocity. I would have hesitated
to ascend to a destiny so sadly fulfilled.
Who could have known the grace
of swimming infinite blue, crystalline
sky, was a game of chance? My father
will always be remembered as the genius
and I, the fool.
Christopher Stephen Soden received his MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) in January 2005 from Vermont College of Fine Arts. He has written film and theatre critique for The Fort Worth Ally, EdgeDallas, John Garcia’s The Column, Examiner.com and sharpcritic.com. He has been a dedicated and energetic contributor to the literary community of Dallas, and his poetry has appeared in numerous venues including: The Cortland Review, Rattle, G & L Review, The Texas Observer, Borderlands, Assaracus, and Ganymede Poets. Short plays of his (including : Water, Radio Flyer, Every Day is Christmas. In Heaven. and Queer Anarchy have been staged at Bishop Arts Theatre Center, The MAC and Nouveau 47. Christopher also teaches and lectures on craft, theory, genre and explication. His poetry and critique collections: Closer and Delicate Tiger. Ferocious Snowflake. are available through Amazon.