HONORABLE MENTION - Meredith DeLong
“Stages of Grief, In Descension”
Father warned me not to fly too close to the sun long
Before crafting him and I wings, long
Before subjecting him and I to the labyrinth with only
Breadcrumbs and cardinals’ calls and
You, Helios, my sun, for sustenance.
I first felt that brush of fate’s inevitable gaze as my
Cracked fingers struck the last match,
Melted the last drop of wax
Under the gradient pool of dying stars
As I attached the final feather to my right wing.
I hope you are waiting for me in the clouds.
I hope you are reminiscing our time
Our wading through festival crowds, hands held
Our lying on hilltops and reciprocating birdsong
Our ricocheting red words, jaws trembling and shoulders tight.
New Father and I must embark;
The king pursues us. His men are gaining.
Every torch-lit footstep echoing
Through far-off evergreens and Father is
Bellowing the commands I never meant to heed.
Greet me as I fall.