Hovering Over Them, His Wings Outstretched
(Angel Appears to the Shepherds, Rembrandt, 1640)
The question was, how they would take to such a revelation,
hide it away in the basket of their minds, or announce it
to the world, that the nut-case of a shepherd, who had only recently
been released from a nearby institution and had shown up
in the fields where he had previously worked, and announced
his discovery of the secrets of flight. He said,
This is only the start. It’s a long way between this
migrating-bird-like-appearance, and ships to the Pleiades,
or even a rocket to Mars.
Then he flapped his wings, and actually rose
a couple of feet off the ground
before he lost his balance and collapsed onto his face.
They shrugged away the incident over lunch,
sharing it with him, and commiserating about the bruises
he had sustained in the fall. Then they drove him
to the airport to watch with him a couple of planes taking off,
before dropping him at the hospital,
feeling a bit sad about the incident,
but also somewhat jealous, that they had to live
in these fields of reality, while he,
consumed by his wild, mad, imaginings, was really, already,
half-way up to heaven, with his wings and his flying.