On Considering Courage
Six apple trees
and companion ladders,
six wooden rungs.
Blossom showers grass tufts,
casting snow rings on the earth.
I plant one bare foot on the first spar
and curve my arthritis, feeling for wood.
My hands clench the sides.
I raise my head as if it’s on a taut string
heavenward, exhale on a wobble,
pull in my core.
Up and higher I rise into air
above checked hues of the earth,
not looking down. And then I do.
A kind of heart surgery is happening
tying leaking vessels, like in a documentary
about stress or birds’ fear of falling.
And birdsong bursts through.
One blackbird thrashes in undergrowth,
his mate feasts on a windfall apple,
a third spikes me with a stare.
I fly with another through green.
Copyright © Maggie Mackay 2017
Maggie Mackay, a Scot and recent Manchester Metropolitan University MA Poetry graduate, has work in print and online such as Amaryllis, Algebra of Owls, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Prole, Three Drops Press and Atrium.