Outside the Window, a Kite Show

Ambitious boy chases a kite—reaches
tries again, squats down and jumps
half-a-foot in the air, the tallest he’s ever been.
Kites like dreams aren’t meant to be caught
they dance slow, close enough to admire
far enough to flirt.

Dad holds the slender twine with a graphite fist
suspending the yellow diamond
just out of his son’s reach.

Boy collapses, cartwheels to the ground
twirls with the kite as it doughnuts above.
If he cannot touch it, at least they can speak.

Dad reaches into his pocket
pulls out a cellphone—records
the dizzy boy while his boy records the kite.

Two endangered species; a black father
a black son—floating in wind-song.

Dad lowers the tattered kite, pulls in the line
like the kite is a whale and the sky Runaway Bay.
Boy rushes towards the shallow; grabs it, tosses it
the kite collapses to the ground.

Boy is confused, frustrated, unenthusiastic.
What magic envelops his father’s fingers?

Boy will soon learn that kites like dreams only take flight
with push from a strong hand, and only
when the wind is remarkably violent.

Ian Keteku uses his voice to inspire messages of peace, action and critical thought. He is a national slam champion and the 2010 World Poetry Slam champion. His work follows in the lineage of ancient African storytellers by paying homage to the past and revisiting themes and lessons from previous generations. His work has been translated into French, Slovak, Russian, Danish, ASL and others. His debut book of poetry, Black Abacus, is published by Write Bloody North.