The black kite

Mexican dawn

I was sweeping night dust from the terraza just after dawn when I came upon the kite. Like some dreams and some people, it had flown and fallen.

It was homemade, which is the only kind of kite that flies in these parts, nothing from the five-and-dime, made by kids from the plastic of trash bags, thin sticks, tape and string. The tail consists of trash bag strips tied together.

These are playthings from a century back above the Rio Bravo. I have one hanging on the Garden Patio wall, and now I have another. I’d love to return it to its owner but, short of putting a recording and loudspeaker on a burros’ back and letting him wander the neighborhood, there’s no way to do that.

It’s a shame because, aside from the cheap materials, they are very carefully made. But their high lives are brief, and some come to live with me.

11 thoughts on “The black kite

  1. Nicely-written, Señor. One reason Mexico continues to charm me is its resemblance to my youth in southern Oregon. Your kite is symbolic of that spirit. I doubt if many American children know the absolute joy of building an item out of discarded parts and coaxing it to do what every human dreams of doing — actually fly.


  2. A kite is a device to allow our spirts to soar like an eagle. It’s like surfers looking to catch their perfect wave or a Zen Buddhist seeking cosmic wisdom via meditation.

    Sometimes kites are reusable. It doesn’t really matter if your spirits go free.


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