Free to Fly


My soft new wings long for their chance to fly!
When taking to the air, to sunlight yield,
I’ll soar and flit upon the airy breast,
Discover joys now yet a mystery.
But patiently I’ll sit and bide my time,
Await the dawning of the perfect day.

Another chrysalis was loosed today.
He too is waiting for his chance to fly.
Coincidence, emerging at this time?
My heart begins to flutter. Should I yield
To dark emotions yet a mystery?
For now, I’ll tuck them safely in my breast.

I tried to hide them deep within my breast,
But he discovered me—oh, happy day!
Now how can I preserve my mystery?
If only my poor wings were fit to fly,
Then keeping silent, I would never yield;
My secret would be sacred for all time.

His thoughts of me apparent grow in time,
As slowly down the branch he comes abreast.
And I to his enchantments slowly yield,
Forgetting all the hours of the day.
Our iridescent wings now fit to fly,
He beckons to a place of mystery.

This gilded wonder, still a mystery,
Has been my sweet companion for a time.
In dark of night he taught me how to fly;
When I was hurt, he took me to his breast
Then held me tenderly ‘til night was day,
And taught me my imprisoned thoughts to yield.

Yet by and by my heart began to yield
To yearnings cloaked by prudent mystery.
Our love must patient be for one more day,
For we shall come together in due time,
And he will take his rest upon my breast
When in the sunlight we at last may fly.

Yield not to passion’s fire before the time.
The mystery hold fast within your breast
Until the day when love is free to fly.

Orange butterfly (6) icarus

Copyright © 2018 Abigail Gronway – All Rights Reserved


Sestina — 6 stanzas with 6 lines each followed by a tercet.
Rhythm and line length are not specified, but by choice I used iambic pentameter throughout.
Instead of rhyme, the stanzas repeat the ending words in a particular order as follows:
Stanza 1– 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Stanza 2– 6, 1, 5, 2, 4, 3
Stanza 3– 3, 6, 4, 1, 2, 5
Stanza 4– 5, 3, 2, 6, 1, 4
Stanza 5– 4, 5, 1, 3, 6, 2
Stanza 6– 2, 4, 6, 5, 3, 1
Line 1: Word 2 appears in the 1st half, and the line ends with word 5.
Line 2: Word 4 appears in the 1st half, and the line ends with word 3.
Line 3: Word 6 appears in the 1st half, and the line ends with word 1.


6 Replies to “Free to Fly”

  1. Awesome. To me, it has a Keats/Shelley feel to it, with Keats’ lush naturalism and Shelley’s other-worldly spiritualism. And their superbly tight yet expressive meter. And the smooth 10-beat lines at any rate could come right out of an Elizabethan drama. Really fine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You put my work on a pedestal I feel it doesn’t deserve, but I do appreciate the compliment. The sestina is an intricate poetic form. I love it. It’s not easy, but it’s attainable. Like breaking a horse, it takes perseverance and patience, but it’s worth the effort to tame all that strength and beauty.

      Liked by 1 person

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