Laurel visited her Grandmother Wing
in Nokomis, a town with several bays
and three bridges; the house two stories
with wide windows on a concrete road
and a fountain in the circle
On the front porch her grandmother waited
stooped but keen-eyed;
Laurel felt her cool arthritic palm
As sunlight blazed beyond Venetian blinds
highlighting antiques and Oriental rugs
to match the tapestry of her exotic garden;
crystal and china shone in measured light;
and overhead fans kept the rooms cool
Aunt Ida fussed about the house:
Do you get bored here alone all day?
With an enigmatic smile Grandma Wing said:
Oh no, I read my books and newspapers;
I think and I daydream.
At my age those are the things I do best;
and in the evenings my neighbors
come over to play bridge; Grandma Wing
picked up a travel book: My next trip;
and sometimes, you know, I stay at my beach bungalow.
Laurel saw the joys and sorrows of a long life
imprinted on her grandmother’s face
when she sat by a window’s sunspot;
and Laurel settled in with her for a game
of double solitaire
Grandma Wing asked her:
Why don’t you stay for the weekend?
I would like to have you here.
Laurel sighed: I have to get home;
I have to do my homework.
Can’t you bring it here?
Laurel nodded yes, and the old woman rose
from her wing chair, striding to the door:
Help me in the garden; a delicate aroma
of tropical flowers washed over them
I want to stay with you, Laurel thought of days
in this garden; backlit by water-dappled clouds
Grandma Wing said: You keep saying,
you have to do this, you have to do that;
listen: the only thing you have to do is die.
On Mulberry Ranch, Will and Sandy tossed a ball
back and forth outside Shadow’s cabin
while Mira gathered wildflowers
Will held the ball a moment:
I was thinking how Shadow healed himself
and became meek.
Sandy smiled, but before he could answer
a blue plane with white markings flew above them,
circled the cabin and landed on a dirt strip;
Mira read the name written on the fuselage:
Morris Rubra climbed from the pilot’s seat
and Sandy ran his hands along the plane:
Mira joined them and said to Morris Rubra:
I want to fly; and Morris Rubra nodded his assent:
I’ll take you up if your father says it‘s all right.
Two days later, with her father next to Morris Rubra,
Mira strapped into the back seat
and held on as the plane taxied down a runway,
floated toward banks of clouds, surged up
and roared into sun-washed sky
She looked down to see mats of rain-fed forest
and pointillist fields interlaced with ranches,
citrus groves and small towns
The Gulf of Mexico telescoped in;
Mira saw sea melding seamlessly into sky:
Do you ever want to come down?
Morris Rubra admitted: I live to fly, day or night,
and often at night I’m alone in the sky;
and then I feel I’m flying through a divine mind.
Mira pointed to a wide glaze of water
spilling from the horizon: What’s that?
Morris Rubra banked the plane:
Tampa Bay. A fellow here was the first
to fly at night in 1911
There’s been a lot of changes since then;
Morris Rubra righted the plane: Like the Cubans;
he glanced at Mira’s father:
The Cubans are fiercely independent;
they fought Spain for their country.
When the bay city rolled into view
he pointed as Mira craned her neck:
Do you see that old fort? Osceola was there;
some of my people fought him;
And lost, her father replied
Morris Rubra laughed and Mira blurted out:
I’d like to learn to fly;
The pilot began the turn for home:
You come back when you’re 14;
I want you to see what’s out here.
To read Children of the Moon, The Prologue, click here
From there you can read the following chapters.