Wings of Desire

The poem below is named after a wonderful Wim Wenders’ film from 1987 called Wings of Desire.  Filmed in black and white, it tells the story of an angel whose task is to support mortals in need on the streets of Berlin.  There are many deeply touching moments in this film, but the crux of the story is that the angel falls in love with a trapeze artist and renounces his angelic status to become human so that he can love her more fully.

I have two children, first a son and then a daughter.  I feel utterly blessed in this.  I still remember the powerful desire for children that gripped me in my early 30s.  Each time it was different.  The first time there was a viseral tension in it: must have!  But the second time was different.  As the poem shows, I felt my heart calling out and a definite answer came back.  After her birth, I never felt the desire to have a baby again – although I love babies.

Wings of Desire

For Alice


Standing in weak winter sunshine

on the draughty floorboards

of our small tied cottage,

I closed my eyes and silently

called from my heart,

“Are you there?”


To my surprise, you answered

with a soft feather touch on my face –

my desire for you touched

by your desire for me –

this body – this life.


For days after,

in solitary moments,

I felt you fluttering around me –

and then a great calm.


It was no surprise

when the sickness began.

Had you been a boy,

your name would have been



Author: MaryAb

Born in upstate New York. Moved to the UK in 1971. At home in Devon.

Author: MaryAb

Born in upstate New York. Moved to the UK in 1971. At home in Devon.

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