Unfixable

Apr 27, 2018

Today’s poem is “Unfixable” by David Sloan. David is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA Poetry Program, David Sloan teaches at Maine Coast Waldorf High School in Freeport. His debut poetry collection— The Irresistible In-Between —was published by Deerbrook Editions in 2013.

David writes, “The only time I’ve visited Monhegan, with my wife and youngest son several years ago, we stood on the Headlands and were struck not only by the rugged coastline and expansive views. We were literally looking down at dozens of seabirds gliding far below us. That unusual sight provided the seed thought for the narrative of this piece, some of it real, and some imagined.”

Unfixable
by David Sloan

It happened again last week standing on Monhegan’s headlands,
alongside other sweat-soaked first-timers with their trail-maps,
cameras, sloshing water bottles. They shushed their children
and we all looked down on wheeling gulls, slope-browed
eiders, gannets gliding inches above the rumpled-shirt
surface of the waves. A little girl in red shorts
clambered up a boulder, flapped her arms, cried
out, I’m flying! and had to be gathered in mid
leap by her father. On those cliffs, sky-spill
and sea-tilt blending blues, wings everywhere,
even the yellow fans of clicking grasshoppers,
I felt this familiar, spreading sense of seepage,
as if I were bleeding but unable to locate the source,
the day all leaking away before filling up;
no way to fix it, to yoke me to the moment,
no container sound enough to prevent
sky from sliding down lopsided
like broken blinds, waves
from scattering into feathers,
or birds from whirling
into children who slip
over an edge,
unnoticed and
uncatch-
able.

Poem copyright © 2013 David Sloan. Reprinted from The Irresistible In-Between, Deerbrook Editions, 2013, by permission of David Sloan.