The Child

There is a child who wears a cat mask in my building,
who pushes the elevator button too many times,
who climbs the stairs as if she were climbing a mountain,
who asks me my name, than calls me “Miss Lady”,
who is terribly loud and much to everyone’s chagrin
doesn’t listen too well and runs away when called;
the other day I heard her darting, her little feet pounding
up and down the halls, whooping and ha-aaahing
as if she were summoning a hoard of spirits
to carry her right out the fourth story window; and
she knows that the best way to get what she wants
is to be polite, and she knows that the best way
to be pampered is to obey and play nice—
but she doesn’t care! She hollers obscenities
and pulls her brother’s hair, jumps the railings,
runs amok, seizes a twig on a maple branch
and snaps it, wields it like a sword, shouts from
her balcony that she rules the world, her and her ballooning
hopes, yanking the breath from out the wind and filling
her dreams, noisily hammering and building her wings
that she takes outside, stands upon the top step,
and throws upward like a kite, screaming
“The Wright Brothers did it! I’m the Wright Sister!”
and her wings crash and she laughs, nearly
maniacally, and she leaps as a kangaroo would leap
three steps a time, snatches her wings,
bolts down the sidewalk like a racehorse,
shouting “Fly! Fly! Fly!” as if it held a power.

3 thoughts on “The Child

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