Flying On Broken Wings

She was a beautiful child
born the day
the river Shannon overflowed
A body of water
that could not be contained
was her name

Her immense beauty
like Venus’
was made more poignant
by her one broken wing

Her burden
was to be born
into a world of silence
deeply veined by things unsaid

She danced
and drank
and laughed
and loved
and cursed
while she tried to raise herself
up against the silence

But with a broken wing
it is hard to fly

She loved the genteel worlds
of cats and library books
and could get egg whites
to confess their darkest secrets

Her hearty, belly-rocking laugh
usually ended with a mischievous twist

Knowing how much in need we all are
She was quickest to extend her hand
Friend and confessor
She was the one you could call
She looked after the elderly
Nursed friends back to health
or ushered them with gentle ministrations
through their last days on earth

We are all born
With one good wing
And another which is broken
Always we are given a burden
that is too much for us to bear

It takes an entire life
until our very last breath
to learn to fly
like Shannon
broken wing and all

[Poem by Kevin Carrel Footer – 18 May 2012]