I ran my kite till it gulled at the sun,
And from the newfound flight it took
Command as much as I, and trained
My arm toward the sky, and strained
The armature of spreaders, spar, and knock.
It threw its silhouette against the sun,
Then bowed blue before a berm of cloud,
And set itself against a greater blue.
It swooped, twisted my wrists, and grew
To be too strong, as nervy as a bird
Of prey, a winged but featherless
Raptor I once held, now spun
Away and unbearable to possess,
A thing apart; though still tethered,
Fatherless, and finally unfathered.
Original appearance in Parnassus: Poetry in Review.
“The comparisons to Lowell are just . . . What’s so attractive [in All of You on the Good Earth] is the colloquial nonchalance that transpires within the formal decorum. It’s quirkier, more low to the ground, more hip, as one said in the olden days. “You should know I’ve come to terms with weather / since you left.” This made me laugh out loud.” – James Longenbach, author of Modern Poetry after Modernism