Taking Flight – Virginia Barrett

A mother is running to catch the bus
that stops at the art museum. She is really
running . . . down the wide sidewalk,
passing by the sign of a girl with a pearl
earring. Her unbuttoned trench coat flutters
out on either side of her like khaki
wings. She clutches the hand of her little
girl, sprinting too with all her might as
she must, propelled by the needs of her
mother who wants this bus so badly. Reacting
with a kind of animal-screech the small
being in pink leaps, suspended for a second
off the ground, now nearly close to taking
flight—as if this is actually what the mother
wants to teach her to do, like two
swans running over water, achieving air.


Virginia Barrett’s work has most recently appeared in Poetry of Resistance: A Multicultural Anthology in Response to Arizona SB 1070 (University of Arizona Press), Midnight Circus, Belle Reve, and Apple Valley Review. Her chapbook, Stars By Any Other Name, was a semi-finalist for the Frost Place Chapbook Competition sponsored by Bull City Press, 2017.  She is the recipient of a 2017 writer’s residency grant from the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. www.virginiabarrett.com.

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