Monday, April 13, 2015

A Kite Line

When we stepped into the backyard,
My son, Pete, and I,
With the kite,
My wife, Kim, warned us,
"Don't get it caught in the tree."

Now that you know
How this story will end,
Let me fill in a few details
And the inevitable
(or in this case, Higher)

We really flew it quite well,
Avoiding the tree during gusts
By stepping swiftly aside,
Until Pete had the idea
To fly it atop the playset,
Which was too close to the tree
And too fenced in
To allow for any quick maneuvers,
But 30 minutes of successful kite-flying
Had made us arrogant
And perhaps a bit hungry for danger.

It caught first on a side branch
From what I unsuccessfully tried
To convince Kim was a freak wind.

I didn't know whether to pull tight
And risk breaking the line,
Or to let loose
Risking further entanglements.

Either option seemed
Equally likely to produce both
Extremes of possible outcomes. 

I let loose,
And it went higher,
Eventually spider-webbing itself
Stickily into more branches,
At which sordid moment
I did what any self-respecting
English major would do:
I started composing this poem
And took some pictures
To accompany it.

Yes, it's still in the tree.
Thanks for asking.

Once upon a time,
My dad told me,
Several years after the fact,
Of how a sibling of mine
Had become a bit
Not terribly bad,
Just a bit.

And he contemplated reining in with terror,
Controlling and constricting
Until immediate safety was secured
But the long-term,
Thread-thin at times,
Father-child relationship almost certainly severed.

He said he had felt,
Upon praying about it,
That his only hope,
His only link
Was that kite-line-thin love.

So, he just held it,
Firm and present,
But not forceful,
And that sibling's soaring fine now.

But if our muddled up efforts
Still result in the 50/50 chance of getting
Even more stuck
50 feet up,
There's always the route
Pete keeps exhorting me to take
But my manliness keeps
Preventing me from pursuing:

Call the fire department - 
They'll don their red gear,
Cross town,
Raise themselves up on that tree,
And descend back below 
To allow that kite to rise up again,
All for free,
I believe. 

Now, if I could only remember
Their number...

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