Volition

by Christine Adams Beckett

Winds in the east, mist coming in,

Like somethin’ is brewin’ and ’bout to begin.

Can’t put me finger on what lies in store,

But I fear what’s to happen all happened before. 

-Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman

There is a vintage kite
In the trunk of my car
As my daughter and I await
An opportune time:
When one of the thirty-two
Prevailing winds of the
Compass rose strengthens
To an accommodating velocity.

We have attempted runs
In open fields with
Her tiny fist balled around
Its sphere of cream twine,
Me trailing behind her
In a canter trying
To defy Mother Nature
With little success.

Alas, our aerodynamic
Forces pale in comparison
To the lift and drag
Obtained by meteorologic
Serendipity, or native
Birds in their enviable,
Soaring talents.

I am reminded of a
Rare, New England tornado
Precluded by my own mother’s
Lament: “If only we had
A breeze to chase away
These incessant insects!”
The tempest’s aftermath
Was one for which we
Could never prepare:
Uprooted trees pinning
Doors closed, a canoe
on the hood of a
Neighbor’s car, mayhem,
Misfortune beyond
Our mortal capacities,
Frustratingly beyond our reach
As fluke, as happenstance,
As dumb luck.