Do you remember when our mothers taught us how to fly?
When they threw us from their nest of safety and protection,
The nest of naivety and innocence, the nest of curiosity and purity
And we flew? We passed the first test life threw so violently at our faces
The test to see if the world could turn us to a motionless pile of flesh and bones
Gathered on top of one another on the ground. We felt the dirt beneath our feet
Upon landing, for some of us it was grass, for some of us it was scorching
cement or broken glass
We breathed in oxygen with our tiny lungs and exhaled life into the environment
Around us. It was instinct to breathe. Sometimes we would try to spread our wings
And realized that we needed to flap, a consistent motion to pick ourselves off the ground
We needed momentum and velocity to work as a matrimony even when they didn’t want to.
But some of us tumbled out of the nest. And with impact we’d lay there as our parents watched from above from the security of the branches. Some of us hit the open arms of the tree on the way down, landing still, unmoving. And when we looked up they were long gone. Some of us are still falling. Some of us are still dealing with the fall.
But our little misfit group of juveniles grew into something our parents would have never expected.
We travel as a flock, sharing past quarrels and disagreements with a laugh
Stretched across the continent, we find ourselves calling out to each other.
Five miles is a block, another country is a short walk away.
For the ones who tumbled, their imperfections rise as testaments when we have forgotten.
We have a telepathic way of finding each other. Reaching out like the tree branches which slammed upon our broken bodies to slow our downward descent. Without thinking, we’re with the flock we have always belonged to.
Maybe we’re still falling from the nest. Maybe every time we soar it’s just another way of falling. Maybe the ground seems so much closer than it did three seconds ago. But when we look to the ground, whether it be grass, oceans, bodies upon bodies, while seeing fluttered feathers and beating chests alongside us, at least we know we’re not falling alone.
Hannah Mackey is a rising sophomore with majors in creative writing and publishing and editing. After going to an SU Slam meeting, she realized her love for spoken word and slam poetry, and has remained a member since then. She participates in various slam events happening on Susquehanna’s campus.