Born in New York City, in 1976 I moved with my family to Fairbanks, Alaska to teach for a year in the creative writing program at the University of Alaska. I’m still there. I’ve published six books of poetry, as well as a collection of essays. My work has appeared in The New Yorker and Poetry, among other journals. For more information, visit my website: www.johnmorganpoet.com
Wright Brothers First Flight Centennial Memorial — Stephen Smith, sculptor
Life-Size Wright Brothers Statue, Kitty Hawk
This plane forged of bronze will never get off the ground.
Trotting in place, you guide its still-born wings.
Your caps glint of garage and shop, rude things
too base to reach the clouds, your thoughts earthbound
and brittle—of struts that crack and ripping cloth,
your lives menaced by strep (pre-anti-biotic),
a shortness of breath, a drive almost neurotic
to flee this dust-blown place, dart like a moth
into the eye of the sun, or burn and crash
like those bi-planes in Pathé newsreels we’ve all seen
scribbled with flames and smoke, scorching to earth,
as we catch our breaths, strain, lean, and lash
our mental lift to this flush, immobile machine
like heaving a cart from a ditch or the final push toward birth.
© 2017 John Morgan
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