Sometimes he had wings. If you had looked closely,
If you had listened to his voice,
If you had only looked into his eyes.
I’ve seen him look to the crumbling sky and say a prayer-
Fall to his knees, drink it in sharply, recoil at the sound.
Shiver under the weight, and he’d try to rise-
He’d just about break his heart in the effort.
His world is falling, his mind is slipping, his eyes are fading-
He bobs his head to the music of the earth, and he taps his foot along.
Sometimes, he had wings.
If only you had looked closely, you might’ve noticed.
Maybe he would have shown you- reminded you of the oddities you thought were impossible.
There is a shadowed clarity in his eyes.
But it’s so deep down you’d drown trying to find it.
And his voice could bring you to tears,
If only you let it,
But it rings with loneliness, and it begins a mournful dirge.
A single note, a piercing cry,
Nobody is listening.
There he is, on the ground there,
Ask him how he is, tell him to get up…
You resign yourself to failure-
You cannot control the broken angel at your feet.
The answers lay before you, but he buries his secrets deep. They will never see the light of day.
He sings to himself, softly, when he thinks he’s alone:
“‘Line in nature is not found;
Unit and universe are round;
In vain produced, all rays return;
Evil will bless, and ice will burn.’”
(Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Uriel. 1846.)