Like a Lost Pair of Kites by John C Mannone

{S}evering me from an irreplaceable part of my-self, letting it loose like a kite on a broken string…I keep searching the sky…to see, rather like hearts, a lost pair of kites
-- A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote

It is that Christmas
after the city fell to its knees
as crumbled skyscrapers.

Some things should be forgotten
but not how to pray. My mother
always said to listen to my heart,

to follow my dreams… things
every mother says to her son
as she kisses him on the forehead.

Now, her lips are pressed
into silence except when
the morphine that courses

through her heart, prompts
her delirious rancor while
the music crackles through:

"Do you hear what I hear?
A star, a star, dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite.’

Why is the hospital so sterile?
Its walls don’t know any more
than my own mother does.

Momma doesn’t know
me too well this Christmas,
a day empty of thanksgiving

as I crumble to my knees.
Yet her rich brown eyes sparkle
brighter than any Christmas light

when she thinks she
recognizes me--for a moment,
I am lifted with her smile

to where she’d soon be going
on the soft wind of angels,
on a whoosh of ushered Amens

lofted high like a kite soaring
above any tower left kneeling,
high into the sun.

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