RC (too many years ago / Canadia - so I must be Canadian!)

Kite Flyer #2

 At land's end she stands.
Ocean wind strikes granite face,
Soaring heavenward, exultant.
(It's a good day to fly.)
Shopping bag yields small kite;
Thin bamboo strips, white glue
And rice paper, brightly painted
With wild horse and dragon.
Woman, solemn, places fragile thing
On sunlit grassy summit,
Back from the edge, where
Wind is kinder to kites.
Short line unfurls -
No need for length since
Captive flight is not intended.
Lose end in hand she
Takes up slack then begins
To trot along the top
Of the great sea cliff.
Kite lurches, leaving the ground.
(She is running, now.)
It flutters; timid, uncertain.
Then, decision made, it climbs,
Playing out its tether.
Restrained by string and
Aspiring to altitude, it hovers.
For one brief moment
The desire to recapture and
Possess overwhelms her vision.
She falters but then
Kite and string, hand and heart
Align and she knows.
She whispers his poem, opens her hand,
Fingers silhouetted against sky and
Releases her pain to the wind.
For many minutes she watches
Her soul sail the updrafts,
Then turns and walks away as
Salt sea tears begin to sting.

Robert S. Clarke
Copyright 1995

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