“Making Kites” by Doug Van Hooser

Making Kites

I think it was willow wood.
The bark stripped like an apple peel
it would bow in a flattened half circle.
Strings attached in knifed notches
tug the wood spars ends toward each other.
A forgotten knot binds them in a cross.
Newspaper used for a sail,
words to be carried by the wind.
In the air a tail of birthday ribbon with bowties
wags with pleasure.

My hands are mittens compared to his.
Dexterity to type metaphor kites.
Able to edit but not repair.
He built from scratch reading a recipe
written in the pages of his mind,
not the back of a box.
Do-It-Yourself a generational trait,
side-effect of a gossamer wallet.
I can change a flat tire
but now spares are a half rhyme.
My father in-law could cobble a shoe.
My mother-in-law seamstress a wedding dress.
Skills unfathomable to me
as writing an algorithm.

At least I learned
you have to launch into the wind
in order to fly.

Doug Van Hooser sculls and cycles in southern Wisconsin. His poetry has appeared in Poetry Quarterly, Roanoke Review, Sheila-Na-Gig Online, and The Mark Literary among other publications. His fiction can be found in Red Earth Review, Flash Fiction Magazine and Rhodora Magazine. His plays have received readings at Chicago Dramatists Theatre and Three Cat Productions. More at dougvanhooser.com.