1 post / 0 new
278th Weekly Poetry Contest winner: Clipped Wings

by Ryan Stone

With his head between my mother’s splayed legs,
Doctor Cheung joked, “He looks like one of mine!”
He was Chinese. I had jaundice.

My old man never laughed at that story,
through countless retellings. He’d slink away
to drink, like my skin was still dripping

yellow stains on his manliness.
My mother knew Cheung from pilot school,
years before his M.D., years before

my dad or me. Tales from her flying
days inevitably followed the story
of my jaundiced birth. As natural

to flight as an eagle, as graceful
as contrail clouds. Until she packed
away her wings, for reasons

left unspoken. With a shrug, she’d mutter
how she never feared to fall
until she met my father. Many years,

many broken marriages later,
she admitted she’d never learned
how to recover from a stall.

first published at Eunoia Review

See all the entrants to 278th Weekly Poetry Contest