Red Kite

The kite

a tiny square

millions of miles above us—

a string, fine as spider’s web, slight as silk

tied to a finger.

“I’ve got high hopes.”

Broken glass cuts bare feet,

and the red square hides behind a cloud of smog

for a moment.

“I’ve got high hopes and

higher aspirations, higher

than this kite,”

you say, and tug it.

Scabs score sore knuckles,

white with age and taut.

“I’m going to be a doctor,

and heal the sick

and give the little old woman down the road sparkling clean


I’m going to tell stories to everyone

and help them want to be better, and

help others too.

I’m going to touch hearts,

change lives.”

The kite falls,

tugged down by a scrawny, callused finger.

“I will,” you


as you tuck the paper kite under your arm

and pick your way over the garbage

because you can’t afford to stop

your work

even for a nice wind to

fly your red kite.

The End

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