Catch the Wind
by Jim Thielman

As a child, I toyed with paper kites and
faced an empty feeling when string snapped,
and my kite fell in a nest of branches.
Later, at Lincoln City on the Oregon Coast,
we bought our first stunt kite,
a parafoil flying-wing, six-feet long,
tasteful in hot-pink, purple and yellow.
We learned its crooked ways in the sky.
Twin-nylon lines never-ever broke
for our four new pilots, the parents
and two sons. In time, each one of us
owned one or more kites. Son Mike, chose kites
from Peter-Powell, four-diamonds stacked: red, blue,
yellow, and green, one above the other,
each with a hundred-foot tubular tail
that swooped simultaneously in graceful
arcs, as he made them loop or figure eight.
Son Scott had a hawk-sized delta,
small and agile, a red flash in the sky,
responsive to his deftness at the helm.
Wife Pat had a small kite too, but often,
between moments reading on a sand chair,
served as crew, launching kites and helping
to roll up the long tails when day was done.
Back then both Pat and I were teachers,
and this became our summertime pilgrimage
to Poseidon and Aeolus, Gods whose
breezes had never-ever failed, until
disaster struck at last: No wind at all.
We ran into the least whiff of a breeze,
but nothing worked. So we made desperate
offerings to the Gods by pouring out
Royal Crown Cola and Bud, King of Beers.
Poseidon and Aeolus gave copious thanks!
Kites given up for dead flew once more,
our joy was reborn, as kites caught the wind!

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