Anything I Want
Mother said I couldn’t be a falcon,
I’d have to be a girl instead.
But then how will I fly? I asked.
Wait till you’re a woman, she said.
I showed her the Falcon picture I found,
In a forgotten photography book.
“It’s very pretty, dear,” went Mother.
And then continued to cook.
I grew a bit taller that week.
I had a few more inches in height.
I could reach the top cabinet on my tippy-toes,
But still I could not take flight.
“Mother, mother” I pleaded in earnest,
“Please help me grow my wings.
I hate these human hands and fingers
Which let me only do human things”
“Be patient, little one.” She said,
With the tone all loved mothers use.
“The time will come for all of that,
But first learn to fasten your shoes.”
I waited months, then years passed,
Shoes fastened to feet on the ground.
And a couple of weeks even after this,
with still no feathers be found.
I was pretty frustrated by this time,
And sick of just being a girl.
The other girls were rather silly, I thought.
They wanted boyfriends, dolls and pearls.
All I wanted was to be a bird,
And I couldn’t have even that.
I read volumes about being a Falcon.
It seemed an ability hard to get.
I went to visit Falcons in the Zoo,
to study how they moved and sounded.
I attached Falcon wings to my Falcon arms,
And flapped manically but fell when I landed.
I chose to abandon my foolish ambition,
and accept my sobering fate.
I was to look dainty forever,
Use the ladies and pick from a plate.
This was an unhappy outcome,
Yet seemed a mere nuance of life.
There was many a moment after this
from which fantasy was cut with a knife.
I finished my complex education,
which gained me position and respect.
I went on to work with other adults,
whose Falcons faced neglect.
I moved far away from the family home,
to live in a pulsating city,
I moved higher up in the company,
Looking below my throne with pity.
Once a year I would visit my house,
the same one where all of it started.
Often I returned with guilt for my absence,
So a number of gifts would be carted.
One of these trips cleaning out an old room,
While nobody else was around,
I chanced upon a tin box of valuables
in which my Falcon image was found.
I showed it once again to my Mother,
“So silly to think I could be a Bird!”
My mother looked at me with love and sadness.
Now I give to you her words.
My sweetest child, I want you to know
What I led you to believe then was a lie.
The truth is you can be anything you want to be.
All this with tears in her eyes.
You can be a far flying Falcon,
a majestic elephant, agile deer,
A fierce lion or a painter,
a remembered writer without fear.
You can do whatever you want
as much as you really try,
You can make your wishes real,
If your limit is the sky.
I sat there in silence.
I was completely stunned.
You mean, I could have been a Falcon if I tried?
It took me a while to come to terms
with this startling revelation.
When everything I had built to believe
was facing clear negation.
I knocked all of my constructs down,
I quit my job, and left my money.
Never had there been a time
the skies had been more sunny.
I am a separate person,
from every one I have been before.
I am what I want each day I wake,
Nothing Less, and Nothing More.
Yet if I am honest about who I am,
Between these punctuations of freedom.
I am a Falcon most of all,
Queen of the Falcon Kingdom.