Reading Time: 2 minutes
"Events that trigger memories from long ago can be almost as precious as the thing they remind us of.   In the process of remembering, you hold onto what memory you have and just feel yourself being pulled - like feeling the pull of a Kite." - Allen Ansell

I watch the kite skip and flip
in a cold northerly wind.
It bites at my cheeks,
and gives my ears a nip,
tussles my hair ruggedly –
with as much abandon
as the long yellow ribbon
of the kite’s wriggling tail.

The young boy is nothing.
Featureless. A grey outline
in front of a weak winter sun.
His glee borne on the wind
like a seagull’s cry, but,
in indiscernible French.
His feet rattling the cold pebbles
of Calais’ sunset beach.

Watched by an adult male
with suave scarf buffeted
and dragged about his neck.
Hands dug deep in comfort's
pockets, his face lit with pride,
he bends his knees in unison
with the highs and lows of flight –
barely disguising his paternal delight.

Tears form in my eyes,
and I don’t have to question
if the wind brought these too -
for, all those years ago
I’m remembering right now,
on Hilly Fields we, two kids,
would launch my kite to fly…
just my gleeful dad and I.

© Allen Ansell 2023

*(Newly revised: Originally published on Parapraxis in December 2021)