Your father always said
you had to let go of the kite
when the afternoon of kite flying was over.
You had to watch it ascend erratically
above the trees, then drift over
towards Lake Michigan
with a new sense of purpose,
hit a wind draft, and disappear.
It was probably just laziness
on your father’s part, a refusal
to spend the time gently pulling
on the string, reeling the kite in
and then folding it up
to be used on another day.
You never questioned this, though,
and your parents mouthed platitudes
about nothing ever lasting,
and you can always purchase something new,
and that it was best to be like a kite.
It was too early for anybody
to worry about the environment,
if you were tired of something
you just threw it on the ground
or you let it fly over your head
and miraculously cease to exist.
People were dying in jungles
on the other side of the world,
they either fell or ascended, or
both. It was easier not to worry
or get too attached.
When the kite was gone
you always turned around
and went to get something to eat
at a nearby restaurant.
Your momentum needed fuel to continue,
but the kite still soared
unassisted towards unknown territory.
Perhaps being a kite
might be better after all,
not knowing for sure
whether you would hit a wall
or find someone else’s hand,
but there always was a certain comfort
in sitting in an upholstered chair
and being able to order from a menu.
Leah Mueller is an independent writer from the rain-drenched woods of western Washington. Her work was featured recently as Poem of the Week by Cultured Vultures, and has also appeared in Quail Bell, Bop Dead City, The Rain, Party, and Disaster Society, Dirty Chai, Talking Soup, Writing Raw, and two anthologies. Leah is the author of a contest-winning chapbook that was published in 2012 by Crisis Chronicles Press, and a runner-up in Winning Writers’ Wergle Flomp humor poetry contest the same year.