In this version, father is Icarus.
Daedalus, daughter, the quarry, Crete.
The sun-rust light—his need to escape—mother’s
red hair, she visits them daily in the blades that set nightly,
highlighting the water into fall colours.
No feathers or wax, just a widower eager
to test new boundaries, to flag his wide arms
in a New York bar, to soar into alcohol’s sky
of lost self and achieve flight.
But the daughter is fearful with red
thought alert. She whispers behind him
before he goes out: Father, be careful.
The sun is the deer on the dark road home.
The flight is the car as it flips.
Father as Icarus soars into sky—
Catherine Graham is a Toronto-based writer of poetry and fiction. Among her six poetry collections The Celery Forest was named a CBC Books Top 10 Canadian Poetry Collection of 2017 and appears on their Ultimate Canadian Poetry List. Michael Longley praised it as “a work of great fortitude and invention, full of jewel-like moments and dark gnomic utterance.” Her Red Hair Rises with the Wings of Insects was a finalist for the Raymond Souster Award and CAA Award for Poetry and her debut novel Quarry won an Independent Publisher Book Awards gold medal for fiction. She received an Excellence in Teaching Award at the University of Toronto and was also winner of IFOA’s Poetry NOW. Her work is anthologized internationally and she has appeared on CBC Radio One’s The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers. Visit her at www.catherinegraham.com. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @catgrahampoet.