by Tony Rafalowski


In a state park on Sunday afternoon,

the hill country of east Mississippi,

my dog and I stop to watch a young couple

flying kites in a vacant baseball field.


They’re not having much luck, the wind is

swirling, black clouds melting the sunshine,

raising a storm to usher in the fall;

their own dog dances on a leash at their feet.


Rabbie stops to watch the dog and the kites

while I naturally follow the girl with my eyes.

They’re married, I think, and too young altogether,

something out of a Hollywood montage.


She’s fighting to get her plastic kite aloft

on the trickster breeze that tosses her hair,

dodging the dog in cut offs, midriff bare,

eyes glowing brighter than four o’clock gold.


I look at him, wishing I could tell him

you will remember this day thirty or forty years

from now amidst the slow beeping of machines

and the whispering hush of a ventilator.


Rabbie looks up at me with head cocked aside:

he’s done watching and so am I. Turn away,

walk on down the lane where the storm waits.

I wonder if she ever got that kite to fly.

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