Braving the Wilds

Field Notes from the Suburban Jungle

Tag: emotional intelligence


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.

La Vie en Rose

Skipping along the pressure-treated planks
Of a removable dock
A child fearlessly anticipates
The first plunge into the warm
July waters of a pristine lake.

Her mother’s arms await her,
And outstretched invitation.
The water is clear, fish happy
Until the grin of the child is morphed
Into a grimace of pain that
Accompanies the long, wooden sliver
That pierces her soft heel.

Peals of laughter are replaced
With howls of a preschooler’s
Injury, cheeks paled under the
Gilded light of the afternoon sun.

A mother’s lips surround the
Entry point, sucking the smart
With no desired result. A squeeze of
The thumbs in the same swollen locale
Bring nothing but added injury.

An intermission of ignored reasoning
Ends with the declaration that
She cries not for the injury,
But the desire to be loved.
“Just hold me and kiss me
Instead. It’s not my foot!”

The unspoiled id, not yet
Encumbered by the ego, the superego
Reveals the child-like emotion that
Is unequivocally shared by all humankind,
As the mother recognizes that
She wants nothing but more
Of the same:

Affections, given freely,
Unable to be requested
Due to the thorns that reside
Festering in her own
Middle-aged body.

She sits in the makeshift operating room,
A tiled bathroom, sterile and cold,
Embracing her former self,
Cherubic, innocent, unencumbered,
Peachy and new with a sage-like
Ability to communicate
What Louis Armstrong croons
On the stereo left on that morning:

Give your heart and soul to me
And life will always be
La Vie en Rose.