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What Ed Bennett wrote:
Throughout the book, simple acts, be they a lovers argument, an elder straining to
remember, gardening or a power failure, all turn to the sky, looking at the freedom
of flight. This desire for the freedom inherent in a bird's flight is at its most
poignant in "In Want of Wings". Looking at a gathering of trumpeter swans
the narrator envies them and expresses a desire for wings from the very beginning
In Want of Wings
by Jane Alynn
The trumpeter swans are standing in the field
alongside the road. White, outsized, magnificent.
Suddenly, agitated by something, these birds take off
running, their bodies remembering the risk to living
in the open. The mass as it moves for flight stops all song.
The swans face the wind with wide-stretched wings,
arcs of luminosity, lifting their heavy bodies skyward.
Filled with awe, I watch them
until I am looking only at the distance.
And I think of things that make us disappear,
what harm the fowlers do. When I have wanted
wings. A child launched into darkness dreams
of human flight not forbidden, being borne
swiftly on a rush of wind, those miraculous pinions
in perfect rhythm of progression, blood feeding feathers,
wings pumping, breastbone heaving, breathing
easier when she comes to a sweet end,
having brought herself from the brink of extinction.
from Necessity of Flight (Cherry Grove Collections, 2011)
Ed's full review can be viewed here: