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The Hang-Glider

ISSUE:  Spring 1990

Above the fumes of paper mills,
tarred shacks ringed with truck parts

she lugged her green cocoon.
By the bare cliff

where snow still clung to shadows, she knelt
tightening wires across a skeleton of metal.

What was she thinking, so alone
as she plunged against the wind’s resistance?

When she pushed deeper into the blue
shade of her wing, cutting

toward the populated valley,
did she hear as never before

one song pulsing from the summit’s tower
through her harp of cables?

Did she glimpse the whole mountain
turning green beneath her?

The last drop was short
and without prayer.

Roofs rushed up like crows.
Power lines twanged with the jolt.

When the hardhatted crew found her
she hung above them, depending

on nothing but wires, the blue sheet
hovering above her like a moth.


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