Leah Browning

(1973- / New Mexico)

First Summer

The kite was a free gift
from the insurance company:
a flimsy plastic cut-out of Snoopy
with a complicated network of strings
on the back. We had to wait
until after work, ten o’clock, to take it
outside. Hushed, we stood on the narrow plot
of grass in front of the apartment and let it go,
bobbing in the wind. This was before
we had children, and we had no one
to amuse but each other.

You were the first to fly the kite,
and after it bombed I had a turn, steering it deftly
into the ground. The dog was torn
on one edge, but he went on smiling
bravely. He caught again, much
higher this time, and the tail’s red triangles
whipped out behind him.
You put your arms around me and held on
for a few moments while we breathed in symphony,
our whole lives ahead of us, and nowhere to go
but up.

Submitted: Monday, September 26, 2005
Edited: Monday, September 26, 2005
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