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by C L Clickard

“A man had seven sons, but he wished for a daughter...”

I fell into this world
         caramel eyed
                   frail as a blind-eyed hatchling
all fluttering breath and too rapid heart.

Seven strutting boys came first
a flock of brothers
crowing their “I am’s” to the sky.
Beautiful black-eyed boys
careening into the unknown
swooping off to fill their cups with
wonder and adventure.

Crowing boys, growing boys,
         prone to stumble
                   and scuffle
                              and fall.

Glittering shards of hope and healing
blink back at the sky like tears.
No cure for it but to stoop and skirl
chatter and swirl
empty handed toward home.

Father’s fury beat the air
like cormorant wings
shaking off his unshed tears.

“Ragged tailed stragglers –
sons of mine no more!
Wander till your sister’s love
returns you to my door.”

Curse loosed on raptor’s wings
the far hill explodes
as seven midnight fledglings
burst into startled flight.
My ragged breath
mimics their panicked ascent.

Only child,
lonely child.
Cradled, coddled, kept.
A dozen dozen moons wane
while I wax and thrive
in ignorant bliss.

Until one clucking hen
pecks at my solitude
with her waggling tongue.
“Poor brothers.”
Guilt roosts behind my ribs
drumming my dreams
with seven sets of ebony wings.

Trusting in trinkets
I claw my way
past sun, moon and stars,
into their mountain
and onto their sky-spread table
ravenous for what I have never tasted.

I wait
and eat
and wait again.
A crumb from each plate.
Seven seeds. Seven sips.

With dawn’s light they come
my band of brothers
spilling into the room
eye-bright and, greedy
sleek with life’s adventures.
Croaking: “Who has taken what was ours?”

Perched in the shadows,
fingers curled around mother’s ring
the bittersweet tang of freedom
lies heavy on my tongue.
I have not come for them after all.

In silence, I drop my jesses and fly.

* * *

In addition to her children’s books, C L Clickard’s speculative fiction and poetry can be found in many anthologies and publications including Myriad Lands, Broad Knowledge, Poet’s Haven, Literary Nest, Havok, Andromeda Spaceways, Enchanted Conversations, Light, Spellbound, and Defenestration.

What do you think is the attraction of the fantasy genre?

Fantasy refreshes the well of wonder deep in our soul. It reminds us that we live in a world of unending possibilities, if we are strong enough, open enough and curious enough to explore them.