Your wings are not a problem.
The doors you must walk through
that shred your leading edge
are a problem.
The granite steps you must climb
that soil and tear your feathers
are a problem,
and you must love those problems
in order to solve them.
To simply fly over them
and spit upon them
is no act of love. What will
your children do
if you do not take the time
to caress them into
a pleasing and comfortable
place to be?
You will say: bah! Enough!
I will raise my children
far from the doors and stairs
that have bruised me.
But there will be new stairs
and new doors. A right angle
is the builder’s best friend
and a sharp edge makes
for easy packaging of
right and wrong, approval
and denial. Trip on a step,
bruise your wing on a frame, and
you are learning that they are there
to make pain obvious and avoidable
only by compressing and stunting
your passage. Someone
vested in that will build again
wherever you choose to live;
perhaps you will become that architect yourself someday.
So love them, those shin-busting,
wing-breaking corners, too-little
headroom, too-steep stairways
that lead to the Heights for which you are longing.
Love them sternly, love them strongly,
do not submit to them without pushing through
and wearing them down with their unexpected joy
at the pleasure of your touch.
Before you fly,
flow through the gates
and make them smooth and soft
as if your flight was water coursing
over the ruins, as if the deformation
is a token of respect
for the ones who will follow
more easily across the barriers
you’ve pushed so hard against
as you moved toward a land
full of promise fulfilled.