T. Alan Broughton: "I Always Wanted To Fly"




Finally our local pair of crows

comes home to our trees and lawn

to scold small birds and cats, build

a nest and perch on the gutter

to sucker me into scattering crackers.


I need them to return each year,

want black sun to ripple on feathers

as they twist to watch me, not lose them

in wintry clouds of raucous flocks.


I cannot be a crow but sit for hours

on the porch, testing the faith of dreams

when I was a child, held one white

feather in my fist and ran into the wind.

Their fledgling waddles over the lawn,

each wing trying to fly on its own.

The parents, indifferent, preen or peck.


Alone now, the fledgling hunkers,

looks up, and spreads wings wide

for the first time since reeling down

from home, flapping upwards, higher

than nests, free of earth, not even

bewildered miracles can be so natural.



T. Alan Broughton has published four novels, a collection of short stories, and seven books of poetry, including A World Remembered (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2010).  He also has been the recipient of various grants, awards, and fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.