Kite Flying

Kite Flying

Arian Farhat

with a sheath of golden
feathers guarding its underbelly
and a feared reputation
the golden eagle soared over
the dusty dry lands  

perhaps my family looked
up once in a while and
saw it circling overhead,
a blessing, a curse, or a spell in reverse 

but they must not have seen it

my father would have had his head
swirling with stress over the paperwork
for his family to journey to the New World
my mother was in another neighborhood
studying, working at a smaller office  

my aunts were
too tired and dehydrated
from the long walk from school to home
passed bazaars with the aroma of turmeric and kabob
scarves dangling around their shoulders
as they fought for the chance to learn  

my grandfather
had much anxiety
over whether or not he
could travel to the office for work
if he was caught…  

my grandmother was
worried, raising her kids in such a world
knowing she wasn’t able to get up to help
her youngest as they stood on a stepstool to
make dinner when they should have been out

no, my family was chained to the
ground, souls bound to the duties
they had to themselves, to their family
their only hope of flying was when they
occasionally passed the kite flyers
for in all that sorrow,
one thing
let them soar above their worries:
the Afghan art of kite flying

my father was a champion.
when he wasn’t studying,
he was kite flying, kite rising
he took his place among the golden eagles,
soared to infinity and forevermore 

it would be many years after
my family would fly
to the New World, leaving behind their home
in hopes of a better one
a new beginning 

and then I was born.
and for them,
for my father who worked
from the morning sun to the evening moon,
for my mother who came to this
harsh New World with a pocket full
of English words,
for my aunts and uncles,
who defied everything in order to study
and catch their dreams,
for my grandfather
who sacrificed everything,
and for my beloved grandmother,
who dared to do the
difficult, the dangerous, the impossible
in the name of love,  

I fly for them.

Arian Farhat