Poetry has this way of telling a story that reaches far beyond the initial circumstances of its being put down to paper. The poem that follows speaks of a silver ship. In fact, it refers to a plane. It tells the story of a moment in flight. A moment in time. A moment in a man’s life. It has an uncommon source: a captain’s war diaries. His name was Captain Robert L. Hughes, a Second World War pilot.
Notice the first few words: There are trails that a lad may follow when the years of his boyhood slip… This is the beginning of a journey, when a boy becomes a man and begins to make new choices. The soaring silver ship, in this instance, and the silver wedding band Silvio just completed, both represent a measure of risk taking, trust, faith and abandon.
Notice, also, the original design on the coin Silvio used to make this wedding band: a winged maiden. Its image is now melded into the silver. The vessel and the muse have become one and this, too, represents a journey.
By Children Literature Author Mildred Plew Meigs, 1940’s.
There are trails that a lad may follow
when the years of his boyhood slip,
but I shall soar like a swallow
on the wings of a Sliver ship,
Guiding my bird of metal
One with her throbbing frame
Floating down like a pedal,
roaring up like a flame
Winding the wind that scatters
Smoke from the chimney’s lip,
tearing the clouds to tatters
with the wings of my Silver Ship
Grazing the broad blue-sky light
up where the falcon’s fare,
riding the realms of twilight
brushed by a comet’s hair.
Snug in my coat of leather,
watching the skyline swing,
shedding the world like a feather
from the tip of a tilted wing.
There are trails that a lad may travel
when the years of his boyhood wane,
but I’ll let a rainbow ravel
through the wings of my sliver plane.