Portrait of My Father as Icarus
by LUCIEN MEADOWS
My father climbs high branches above me
While on the grass, I hold sycamore leaves
To my face—I am a caterpillar
Burrowing tiny-eyed into a wall
Of green. I face the sun, one leaf over
My eyes revealing veins, and closer, skin
Patched like quilts. Skin into cell, and I see
Small boats of light canaling into leaf
Interrupted with a shout—my father
Falling from clouds like a god, knotted ropes
His slippery wings. Arms outstretched, his eyes
Open and silent as I run to him,
Smell mint and butter of sky in his hair.
Until he moves, we stay awhile like this.
Lucien Darjeun Meadows is a Cherokee/German+ writer born in Virginia and raised in West Virginia. His poetry has appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Ecotone, Narrative, Poetry Daily, and Shenandoah. An AWP Intro Journals Project winner, he has received nominations for the Pushcart Prize and awards from the Academy of American Poets, American Alliance of Museums, and Bread Loaf Conferences. Lucien currently lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, where he explores the intersection of more traditional poetic forms/subjects with Appalachian and Native identity. His website is www.lucienmeadows.com.