Treasure Island

John Freeman

(1880-1929 / England)

The Kite


It was a day
All blue and lifting white,
When I went into the fields with Frank
To fly his kite.

The fields were aged, bare,
Shut between houses everywhere.
All the way there
The wind tugged at the kite to take it
Untethered, toss and break it;
But Frank held fast, and I
Walked with him admiringly;
In his light brave and fine
How bright was mine!

We tailed the kite
While the wind flapped its purple face
And yellow head.
Frank's yellow head
Was scarcely higher, and not so bright.
'Let go!' he cried, and I let go
And watched the kite
Swaying and rising so
That I was rooted to the place,
Watching the kite
Rise into the blue,
Lifting its head against the white
Against the sun,
Against the height
That far-off, farther drew;
Shivering there
In that fine air
As we below shivered with delight
And fear.

There it floated
Among the birds and clouds at ease
Of others all unnoted,
Swimming above the ranked stiff trees.
And I lay down, looking up at the sky,
The clouds and birds that floated
By others still unnoted,
And that swaying kite
Specking the light:
Looking up at the sky,
The birds and clouds that drew
Nearer, leaving the blue,
Stooping, and then brushing me,
With such tenderness touching me
That I had still lain there
In those fields bare,
Forgetting the kite;
For every cloud was now a kite
Streaming with light.

Submitted: Friday, September 24, 2010

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