There is a spirit, possibly mischievous,
possibly benign, that causes boys to jump
from roofs. A shed will do, with graduation
to garage. I slid from mine, arms out, face
forward, bending back my wrists and crying.

There is a spirit, less refined, that causes
boys to jump from windows. First floor
classrooms to drunken leaps three stories
high, to snow banks, comforters
for graceless landings, only hurting pride.

There is a spirit, quite malign, that causes
boys to jump from towers, no parachute,
a moment’s flight in desperation and desire.
And if the landing shatters heart and mind,
boys climb higher.


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Image Credit:Georgie Pauwels/Flickr
Jim Aitken was a veteran of Vietnam, colo-rectal cancer, three wives, two divorces, two MAs. Jim was a screenwriter and editor of Poetry Circle. He lived with his son, Joe, in Colorado, and died in 2016.


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