Defiance

by Christine Adams Beckett

An audacious act it is, to fly,
dangling where we don’t belong
as Homo sapiens, we, destined
to ambulate, foot to earth, grounded;

and yet a set of brothers, Ohioans no less!
took the writings of a French ornithologist
a leap too far, loved Leonardo a touch too
deeply, allowing themselves to be seduced

by the somewhat erotic vocabulary
of flight physics. Presumably Orville
hatched at birth, imprinted on an eagle,
a hollow-boned soarer, as if it really

were possible to fly. It’s unnatural, Wilbur.
We don’t belong up here contemplating
the winds, decisions, turns, and shifts,
the entire course of our personal history,

plucking the petals of one daisy, singular in
the chain, that brought us happily to the gate.