Sunday, August 30, 2009


(on launching my last child into college)

Your partner provides the balsa wood,
the sturdy glue, the engineering
You find some bright tissue paper in the
box where you collect gift wrap,
sparkle stickers
and feathers

You build it together and
When you've done the best you can
You drive to a windy spot
A beach where the ocean rolls and rolls like time
and bees circulate, looking for something
in the late summer heat

Your partner has remembered to bring the string,
He secures it, knowing,
where to tie the knots at the corners of the frame
He hands you the kite

You hold it out before you,
admiring the delicate colors, the fine tail you fashioned
Out of memory-light silk,
The precision of its construction,
the graceful curve of its spine.
It tugs at your hands, already caught in the wind

You turn, and start walking
Faster, then running
as your kite,
fills with freedom
you let go

It takes off
Unsteady at first, it wobbles up,
dipping this way;
and that;
a tipsy bird, a bit of loose newspaper blown down the beach

You walk backwards, squinting against the sun as
It climbs,

Your partner holds the spool,
which unfurls, demanding more string, more length, more line
as it finds its place,
bright diamond against the vast blue sky

- for Katie

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