The Kite Master by Bill King
Half dune roots like dead wires hanging head high, boardwalks
dashed and flung, two-by-fours sticking willy-nilly out of sand
like bones, whale belly on my screen split and spilling plastic
on the beach, and down the way, a Trump flag tied to a pop-up
that shields an entire brood of pale flesh swathed in red and white
giving me the blues
until my daughter’s partner puts down her book, unrolls
her two-string two-grip kite, lays it flat, and then backsteps straight
into the sky. Soon she’s worked it over the roiling water, and without
once getting her rainbow wings wet, begins to buzz the ocean in big
wind-popping swoops until all those heads two houses down
start turning her way in wonder.
Bill King grew up outside of Roanoke, Virginia in the Blue Ridge Mountains. His poetry has appeared in Kestrel, Appalachian Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Mountains Piled upon Mountains: Appalachian Nature Writing in the Anthropocene (WVU Press, 2019), and many other journals and anthologies. He holds an M.A. in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Literature from the University of Georgia and teaches creative writing and literature at Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia. His first chapbook of poetry, from Finishing Line Press, is The Letting Go (2018).