the day after the kite festival

The day after the kite festival
The great field is empty
Except for five lacrosse players
And half an orange abandoned in the grass.

Yesterday this place was a whirling,
Pulsing cacophony of color and running
And kites swarming under the sun.
Of sisters shouting “higher!” and “now you’ve got it!”
To sweaty-palmed little brothers tugging on strings.

Today at the field’s edges,
All the trees are littered with kite shards-
Colors trapped in skeletal branches,
Ribbons flayed to shreds, ripped by the wind and a grey sky.

Convince me not to see all of life in this field:
One day everything is brightness and celebration,
And the next it’s all tangled in trees.

What trust is there in soaring, if kites are so easily caught?
Or laughter becomes silence and kisses turn to stone
And tenderness is exchanged for indifference?
Seamus Heaney pulled up a railroad tie and asked the same.
What is fixed, if things so solid can be utterly undone?

I have heard there is a future
And a hope that will not be cut off.
Next year the kites will swarm again.
So as I walk under the littered trees,
I sing softly
but am not quite
ready
to fly.

over

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