Wednesday, September 6, 2023

The Patagium

For swimming, keep the webbing
Between the fingers and toes,
But, for gliding or flying,

Webbing grown between the limbs
Did the trick for squirrels and bats.
Do you remember longing

To catch sight of a flying
Squirrel among the scampering,
Chittering, ordinary

Tree squirrels that were everywhere?
Patagium like a cape
Flaring in the canopy,

A shadow gliding through oaks—
The squirrel as superhero—
Think of all the sketches drawn

Of one-person contraptions
With leather webbing for wings.
Despite the propeller planes,

Jets, rockets, helicopters,
People still build one-person
Gliders of frame-stretched fabrics,

Closer to proper flying—
Just you stretched flat, bellying
And buoyed up by the wind.

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