Christina Coates


In water I was formed.
I had to push up hard
into my parents’ arms.
I grew up in the slums,
cradled by the ground,
by the belly of the mother city.
There was no one there
except a mountain.

I played alone;
my legs hooked over a branch.
I stared up at the high peaks;
I knew I was born to higher things.
I embraced it all.
I knew this was never for me;
I’d just gone into the wrong room.

Sometimes I was so angry
people were afraid,
they’d climb over me.
I had no chance to talk;
I’d just swing upside down.
The longing for the cliffs,
the clouds whispering my forehead.
They said I should reach
my arms to the ground.
I fumed with fury,
wanting to change it.

Then one day my father came
and took me to the mountain.
The weather turned and
the images of my geography
came searching for me.
High among the clouds
I saw angels.
I made a leap, reached to them.

Sandstone and magma gave birth to
a person no longer me.
Someone forgotten
drew me like a bee
to my dreams.
I melted and allowed
them to come.

Now I was a mother city,
managing the controls.
I flashed my eyes
I was the cup holder,
known as the Flying Angel.
My name was my lucky star,
young and beautiful.
Someone with golden wings
gave me a hand up,
and taught me to fly.
We met quite by chance
and I flew by his side.

After all the years
I am alone again.
Peace comes over me like rain.
An angel like me
I have time to write my memories;
I paint pictures
and dream
of hanging upside down
in clouds.


2 comments on “Christina Coates

  1. Thanks Ruth! I love your poem too — “A stranger has climbed up me, he has the energy of a ghost” — amazing image!

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