The myths are alive in the mistakes of children

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As a boy, I longed to be Icarus

They say he takes risks,
but he was raised in the leaves
of books. Their words slip off of him;
of course their ink is oil-based.
With wax and leaves fixed
fast to the small of his back,
he leaps and swings his waist. He flaps
his arms, he kicks his toes
and with the grace of a bad waltz,
flies (falls) from the yard.

But wish him good luck as he strides off—
The gods’ luck if he will have it.
Not their wrath, please (he is just a boy).
This time, he leaves the ground and
glides through harm’s way,
so high that trucks look like ants down there;
but it is strange how they
grow towards the end of his flight,
‘til they are life-sized,
and try as he might, he can’t stay in the sky.
The dirt in his mouth tastes like a sign
to strive for the stars once more.

He walks home, bronze and green
grass stains on his jeans
and white wings on each
of his arms (to tare the weight of the
fiend in his mind).

They say he takes
risks, but each day is a chance to free fall,
and in falling, find fantasy.

8 thoughts on “The myths are alive in the mistakes of children

    1. mistakes are in reference to the imperfect nature of old gods/heroes (prometheus, Loki, Zeus, Icarus, etc). By no means do I mean kids that are mistakes (where an accidental bump caused some unforeseen pregnancy) are mythical; it just seems like the mythologies we used to tell are more human/relatable than the monotheistic scripture today. That’s of course if you want to read into it. I, for one, am happy to believe it’s just about a boy who wants the power of flight in his hands.

  1. “…but he was raised in the leaves
    of books. Their words slip off of him;
    of course their ink is oil-based..”

    — Love these lines!
    The line break after leaves is brilliant
    and oil-based ink, so clever.

    ~ Lily

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