***** Heady’s Flight
We thought we could: we thought
Fly a kite, yes, we definitely ought!
The kite, months ago bought, now unwrapped
Was a dragon’s head and small body entrapped.
Sun shining bright, wind whipping high
Made us declare, “Oh, let’s try!”
Into the car we three friends jammed
Amid packaged colors of kite closely crammed.
Kite’s crinkly crepe papers upon my lap piled;
Its yellows, greens, and blues remained undefiled.
Pam in front, Jane steering the quick miles,
While I in back, said, “Check this dragon’s style!”
We three were years since our younger lot,
Long since given past to marriage, kids, and pots.
Why now the cheering urge to fly and soar?
We knew, laughing, reciting unfulfilled family lore.
From car window to high sky our eyes fairly roamed;
We gasped, seeing the great white clouds like sea foam.
Car and pals rumbling to the flying field,
We were certain the sky and clouds would yield.
Could our bright dragon kite reach those heady heights?
A name, we hailed, for our object of potential flight!
“Heady!” Pam shouted, “for his wieldy head.”
And “Dragonfuss,” I said, “for the hassle if he goes dead!”
From the car onto the flying field we tangled,
Heady Dragonfuss among us, almost mangled.
Yards beyond the stone drive of the field of flight,
Heady’s wide, purple wings held folded tight.
We sprawled on the grass with parts of kite
Spread before us, a colorful, intimidating sight.
We assembled hooks and lines, labored with struts,
Tape, a silver reel, and a package of “What’s?”
Heady’s glaring eyes, black and round, were the parts
Of his design making us giggle: “Big as carts!”
Parts bonded, fastened, Heady was alive,
His mouth open, wings spread wide.
Eyes shaded against the sun and bright sky,
We ran, launching string to push Heady high.
Instead, crepe flew unfurled, a glassy eye popped, revealed
Pieces of Heady lying unassembled upon the field.
Dismay overcame mute surprise at knowing
Heady Dragonfuss’s parts all were showing.
Hooks and lines, wings of loose struts, all unreeled;
How could all Heady’s parts again become healed?
All the while, winds increased their mild gales.
We shouted, shifted, laughed like wild males.
Sitting upon the grass, silly over wings, struts, and glass eyes,
Bearing watching by arriving flyers more learned, wise,
We refastened struts, reeled in line: eyes wide
With childish wonder we soon thought to hide.
Heady was alive, blue and green and yellow,
Black eyes inserted, mouth open enough to bellow.
But would he fly? Ought we, really, to try and try?
Were we doomed to fleeting highs and long, sad cries?
Again, string to girder, plastic to multi-colored crepe;
Spirit and hope, not to cause Heady a faulty scrape.
Wind high, we cast Heady’s line up and off;
Gathered running strides, threw him aloft!
At each hearty launch, Heady failed to catch air,
twirling, twisting down; we called, “Don’t tear!”
Again and again, we tried; running, holding him high,
Until, collectively, we cried: “Dragonfusses cannot fly!”
Poem and Sketch from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg