Grounded and Flightless (abridged)

by Alexandria Lowther

More then likely the neighborhood is still
– dreaming
– anticipating

the birds chatter
nature’s alarm clock
disturbing the slumber of thousands
they mock the sleepers

taking flight from rooftop to rooftop
flying high and low,
living their lives on the wind’s roller coaster
higher and higher and higher
until they plunge to an untimely death
inches from the ground they swoop up
at the last moment
adrenaline pumping through their little veins
do they even have adrenaline?
if so, they’d be junkies
high on life

grounded and flightless
the herd of people
gather their coffee and newspapers
plug in their ipods, iphones, and radios
each one stumbling to wake up
wondering,
is this still a dream?

each one is a collage of memories
strung together into unconsciousness
while the dreamer is wrenched, unwilling
to the lands of reality

work becomes a monotony
numbers chase spaces and dance across the page
taunting us,
we’re zombies – eating our own brains
on computer screens
“Can you hold? For just a minute”
the voice prattles into your ear
as you watch the clock
tick…
tick…
tick…
tick…
tick…
pass the minutes by as it
tickssssssssssssssss

you’re on the phone – indefinitely,
just waiting
waiting
and waiting some more
the blaring classical music doesn’t help
and yet you still wait.

WHY?
what are you waiting for?
it occurs to you
that THIS is your life,
RIGHT NOW
you’re living in this exact moment,
and you’re spending it – Waiting?

you hang up the phone
even though you’ve been waiting for an hour
its done.
you’re not waiting, just existing.
and in that moment, where you existed
it suddenly all becomes clear
THIS
is the present moment.

as air fills your nostrils you can feel the weight
of it ALL drop off
it drops off you like leaves from a tree
swaying slowly and moving precariously through the air
until it lands gently on the ground

you’re free now,
as free as the birds
mocking those still grounded
you take a running start
and jump out the window

what co-workers will later describe as the most graceful
suicide attempt they’ve ever seen
you know this is not the end
because instead of plunging to your inevitable death
you sprout wings and lift up into the sky
free
high on life
adrenaline pumping through your little veins

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