Poem by Melody Wilson

The Doctrine of the Kite

It floats from my fingertips—
a cathedral of rice paper
and balsa.
“Lighter than air,” Daddy said,
sipped his beer,
tapped ash from his cigar.

He said gold pounded thin enough
would cover the earth; meat should
never be wrapped in foil.
The number three always brings bad luck.

Morning was crowded with kites:
boxes, diamonds, deltas.
Children pelted the playground,
paper whiffling, tails flowing,
they released the keels
trusted in speed and skill.
Lines sang through sweaty hands.

Six toed cats are charmed, he said,
and Joshua trees can move.
Man and God are forever
locked in duel.

I held the kite above my head that day
reciting everything he said.
It quivered once,
twice, then rose
and rose.
The string pulling away
from the spool.


Melody Wilson lives and teaches near Portland, Oregon. She has one Academy of American Poets Award, and several smaller awards including a 2020 Kay Snow award. Her work has appeared in The Portland Review, Visions International, and Triggerfish Critical Review.

One thought on “Poem by Melody Wilson

  1. My dear sisters poetry. This about are dear father who had six beautiful girls. Oh how we miss him but he left a beautiful legacy. He invented the kite winder because we would lose the string. His solution was the beginning of many to come. She is a very talented poet. My father was a wonderful talented writer. This poem has many meanings. It is one of many kaladescopes. To all fathers and the spiritual things left just a simple poem of personal meaning. He raised and loved six beautiful girls each with exceptional talents.

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