Cathy Baker


Now, when rain slaughters
the snow, when old cats
fish at gutters
and we have grown above mud,

the wind is at our backs.
We sail on the kiteback,
We follow the child chasing
Its forward foot.

Below us is the parent who cannot
run for watching. White rags
circle behind to clean up everything
But the string feeding out distances.

A tall flying
is wide green grass
climbing over
its straw mother,
a vertical sky
and the flash from the kite
of our bones.

Up here among rarefied airs
and companions, we drink the tulip wine
I packed in a basket. You raise the cup
at arm’s length and bless it:

This is the vessel,
the kite and the color.
May we throw shadows
on the earth. May we
blind and eclipse old light.
The new circle which dances in the sky
Shall be ourselves, and endless.

March 3, 1979


Cathy Baker was a member of the inaugural, limited-admission class of The Novel Year program (2015-2016) at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD. Her stories have appeared in Bethesda Magazine and Fluent. She has completed a novel, WHAT NOW, KENNY BOY, and a short story collection, FLYBUZZ.  She is currently seeking representation for both.

March Birthday