Kite by Jessica Mannion

spun spindle full of filament
stretched out and shining―stretched―
so far
in sky so brimful blue it
almost makes you cry―
the end of it―that string-part
twined around the spool―how stupid―
wasn’t tied―!
how stupid―careless―children are―
it’s lost
the kite
the bad-blue ate it up―
and happy past-time’s
flown away to sad―
the boy who held it
trailed along behind
eyes just that shade of blue as sky
to search it out―so sad―the kite―the string―
so long―ate up by thunderous
and yet he watched the sky ‘til he forgot
what bright sharp shape it held

will you remember then, the boy?
ate up by nothing thundering to life
to rend the flesh it fed upon
to silence―
rendered itself as seen in only
too-late cat-scans, MRIs, and tests―
rendered as x-ray clouds that glow
when held to artificial light.
but he would never choose that, no,
that hopeless clutch to make-believe
nor fuss about the details:
“take me home,” he said,
and so we watched
the string furl out
we knew it wasn’t tied
that there was not a knot
to stop his soul from flying
when the string―

‘Kite’ image by Mayling Tam. To see more of her work, check out:

More about this poem…

Kite was written for my brother Glen, who died of cancer on October 10, 2005. The story about the kite is real: it happened to my sister Eileen and Glen when they were kids. She remembered the incident and told me about it, and the poem just kind of wrote itself. We all still miss him every day; he was a gentle, funny soul.

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1 Response to Kite by Jessica Mannion

  1. jeffmenter says:

    I really like this!

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