he dangles the tail around his neck
down we march to the beach
while I offer instructions he twirls the tail
finds a place with the wind behind us
gathers the leadstring and runs
wildly runs round and round
in ever-widening circles
bursts with arm-flapping delight
the kite bouncing sliding in the sand
his voice booms deep in his throat
I bellow at him commanding him to stop
that’s no proper way to treat a kite
waaaah baaaah dahdah waaaah
I chase after him snatch it away
erupt with indig . . . and yet
when I look down at him
see his mournful eyes
I hear myself berating myself
you piddle-diddling old crab
who are you to pass judgement
when you were eight this is exactly
the way you would’ve flied a kite

Tony Howarth, editor for dramatic writing with The Westchester Review, is a playwright, director, former journalist, retired in 1991 after 28 years as a high school and college teacher of English and theatre. He began writing poetry in 2009 after a visit to William Wordworth’s Dove Cottage (and his daffodils) in England’s Lake District.