It's just poetry, it won't bite

Pigs Flying

11.08.18 Posted in today's words by

Sally Lehman lives and writes in Portland, Oregon. She is the managing editor of River and South Review.

Pigs Flying
By Sally Lehman

I. Sprout

It starts as little lumps
along a back, a spine, a breast,
a throat.
For mothers, we’re talking throat.
But for wings, we’re talking back.
Small lumps.
Problem with lumps,
they grow.
Problem with growth,
it starts and won’t stop.

Conversations happen
and work stops
and the world as we know it changes.
Because lumps.

And once the lumps get big enough,
they open
and expand into wings.

II. Flap

Wings can be seen.
They are not small pieces
that will be other things.
They’re things,
in and of themselves.
Lumps realized,
ready to change life.
To move on their own and be seen.

It’s only when we see
that they become real.
When we know to seek something out
—say a wing on a back
that shouldn’t have wings.
Say a growth on an organ
that won’t stop growing.

That’s when things move.

III. Lift

Once we see the wings
and they move
and flutter
and flap
and soar
and seek
and maybe even wave a little hello,

we acknowledge they are there
and they steal our breath.
Pull out our tears and sweat.

They are can’t be there things.
They are never should be thought of things.
They are the porcine plumage on which
we never expected to lay eyes.

They are the tube coming out
of our mother’s stomach so she can eat.
The IV stand holding up bags of TPN
that slides down tubing.
Total Patient Nutrition
that doesn’t provide total anything.

IIII. Fall

And when the wings fail,
as all wings must,

when the nutrition can’t flow
down and through,
when a body doesn’t eat.

And when the wings are nothing
but bones grown from small lumps,
grown to fly,
lost of feathers and skin.

And when her breath is there
then gone.

They flatten us to the dirt
making tear salted mud.

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