Dragon kites

for Cliff

Look at them:
all that rainbow-y nylon dripping
like bridal veils—one whose face
wears a happy rainbow over
white clouds and half a circle of sun,
the other with a prancing unicorn
under the little purple and green
tissue paper diamond, dented
and torn, two big spools of thread
and one little one.

Our kites still live in the big striped
cloth bag you sewed for them
almost four decades ago—
kites we flew over coastal beaches,
sea spray dotting our cheeks,
watching the broad faces
of their light bodies get smaller
and smaller as the spools unfurled
into the sky.

We flew them from the bluffs of Mendocino
and on the sand below the Cliff House
in San Francisco, where, years later,
I buried some of what was left of you
after you soared and tangled and dove
to an early end.

I don’t remember when I put them away,
how long it’s been since they tasted wind,
even at the end of a thin leash.
But I imagine they can still fly.

I bet they can propel themselves
upupup, a shimmering palette against
a March sky—their red and orange,
blue and green and purple tails
whipping the spring wind,
dancing up there,
aloft for as long
as we liked.

About janishaag

Writer, writing coach, editor
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