Thursday, September 11, 2008

Flying (Poem)


But Daddy, she says,
kite over her head,

its tail masking her eyes.
We’ll tell the wind

to come back
. She
lifts the kite to look at me

then makes for the door
before I can reply,

her sister close behind,
looking back

for my permissive nod.
They’re so different,

these two, yet their voices
layer so finely—the older’s

relentless, compressed;
the younger’s expectant,

fragile—as they
will the wind to cover

their August afternoon
that I draw in breath,

hoping the vacuum will
pull currents enough

to keep their string
trained, their voices taut

against the silent
movements of God.

*Tentatively titled--any suggestions?


  1. I love line about telling the wind. Maybe that would be a good title? "Tell the Wind"?

  2. One is five, the other two point five. We also have a seven-month old.

  3. That must be fun. I've also got all girls (4, 3, 1.5, 6 weeks). I think you've captured something precious about a father's reaction to his little girls' spirit that is difficult to put a name to. If I had to, I'd say it has to do with the faith-centered hope you express for the simple things of their lives to turn out well - evidenced by seeing God in the act of flying a kite on a windless day.

  4. And you with four girls, all so close together--that must be fun. You must be brave...or a glutton for punishment. Or both. ;) And this coming from the stay at home father of three little girls...I wouldn't change it for the world though. (I don't know what I'd do with a little boy...probably make him crazy.) I love seeing their personalities develop and learning from them and worrying about them and their futures (as illustrated in this poem--my "reaction," as you say, to their nascent world). They've definitely changed my life.

  5. You're so blessed to be able to stay at home with them. Someday I'll get myself worked out to the point where I can do that too, but for now I see them less than I would like and spend time with them far less.

    Your comment about a little boy made me laugh. I think I know exactly what I would do with one. My two youngest were both supposed to be boys - in the true sense where that's what everyone supposed. Ultrasounds are not always reliable, to put it mildly.

    There was a great piece in the Church art competition last time: I don't recall the title, but it was a sculpture of a father being chiseled out of a rock by his children. They were climbing all over him and chipping away at different parts. He had only halfway emerged. That's part of how I feel about my girls.