I recently read Gary Jackson’s poem “Fly” and I have been thinking about that poem ever since. It touches me on so many levels. I first read it as a parent. The parent who wants my child to fly, but fears the man with a gun and knows I have not done enough to give my child bulletproof skin. This poem ripped my heart out as my son stands poised, his toes curled around the windowsill, ready to take flight, but I also love to think about this idea as a writing prompt.
There are actually multiple writing prompts embedded in my thinking about this poem. What gifts have we given our children that we regret or celebrate? Either because we know the pain and trouble they have caused us (I sometimes look at my child and think – oh baby if only I could have not given you that trait) or because we know this gift was really the best, most true, gift we could ever give another. What gift do we wish we could give our children? What gift do you wish you could take back?
Conversely, what gifts (or curses) have we been given? What did that gift do for us? How did that gift shape our lives?
Are there gifts you wish you had received — that were withheld from you by circumstances or deliberate choice?
Go forth and write and as always, share your reflections (or poetry!) using the #JustWrite hashtag.