When Cats Fly
Look up from play and let yourself be lead
through labyrinthine legs, you look far ahead.
You glance around and search for your mother,
to make sure you don’t reach for another.
You touch her hand and know you’re on your way,
and that today will be a wondrous day.
For looking up holds nothing you should fear,
and looking down is play you so revere.
A band plays loud in the unseen distance,
and on you go- you give no resistance.
Your trust is not betrayed: at least you see,
a sight that fills your whole small heart with glee.
Oh what is that you see around the bend?
But only that which you thought was pretend.
A giant animal sails through the air,
as light reflects off its soft, plastic hair.
It fills your eyes with all its feline grace,
As everything you know falls into place.
With eyes about as wide as you are tall;
in your short life, you’ve never felt so small.
All you can dream you know you can make true:
your tiny self knows what you have to do.
Today you shout! You are no longer shy,
and all because it seems that cats can fly.
Look down and play and think a different way,
and fail to keep your excitement at bay.
You plan and make and do and take advice,
and slowly shapes are forming more precise.
The universe seems bigger every day,
and you’re a needle in its stack of hay.
Decisions day by day become your own;
you find a sort of peace when you’re alone.
Despite your newly found and forming voice,
you love that interactions are your choice.
Both plaits you cut and let them hit the floor.
Your pixie cut and combat boots want more.
The reassuring hands all fall from view,
and- stubborn heart- you bid them all adieu.
You travel far: your mind is on a race-
those that you keep are those that can keep pace.
Your oil lamp burns out, in dark you cry,
all because you saw that a cat can fly.
To go about this way you pause some things:
your fairy dust abounds, gives others wings.
But still you grow; your sight gets sharper now-
no time to sit and even pounder ‘how?’
And then one day it hits you by surprise-
the veil of childhood lifts from your wide eyes.
To play is hard for you to justify.
Wear holes right through your jeans and modify.
But then you meet a soul beside the road,
a red straw hat with dog-eared faded ode.
The stories that this one lone man can tell,
awake you from your long and chilly spell.
And for a time you push aside your need
and pull the threads on this surprising lead.
Air combs your hair on roads that go nowhere,
but with him next to you, you do not care.
And though the end you know you can’t deny,
you feel the way the cat must feel to fly.
But then he’s gone- your stories come to end.
Although you knew, your hurt cannot amend.
Look up and see the clouds fill up your sight,
Look down and wish you’d only held him tight.
You reach for something, words and silk soft hand,
but pull away with fear of reprimand.
Your wanderlust you fear to feed alone,
and uncomfortable calm spreads through your bones.
You dig yourself a hole and lay beside,
and listen to the voices say you tried.
The cat again flies smiling into view.
Annoyed, you try to hit him with your shoe.
But as your footwear sails and hits the ground,
look down, and hear a wall of lovely sound.
For the first time you see the dance beneath,
the puppeteers, all beaming through their teeth.
And now you see his team- they gaze sky high-
and all the folks you need to make cats fly.
You stand on shaky legs, still so unsure,
but new ideas just hold so much allure.
You fill the hole you dug with different things,
and all of the uncertainties that brings.
You start to talk, at first to no avail,
you feel a fool, but continue to flail.
All love songs make you want to run and hurl,
but every now and then you find a pearl.
And just as long as those shine in your mind,
at least you feel a little bit less blind.
So talking, you discover, is more fun;
after some time you lose the need to run.
Look all around both up and down- don’t trip.
Collecting people, here and there: equip.
Their faces come at you in such a blur,
but hours turn their protest into purr.
And once again you find you’re on your way,
and you know it will be a wondrous day.
Surrounded now by those that you respect-
You need them there, more than you did expect.
Look up and grin: there’s nothing you can see,
and now you know that this will set you free.
You know that happiness you cannot buy,