Jacqueline Saphra's poem laments a youthful inability to take risks for fear of the consequences. Illustration by Stephan Schmitz.

Once I had a kite. I guarded it, tried
to hold it near me, flew it safe and low,
dreading that the wind might give it life,
freedom to tear the sky’s fragile skin. You
didn’t know me then. This is the truth:
I feared it; the gasp of twine unravelling,
my dream hurtling towards the world’s roof,
the synergy of air and silk, bent wings.

But that was years ago. Since then, I’ve known
different terrors, remembering the kite
I never flew heavenwards, the way love slips
its noose. I’m turning wild at last. Full-grown,
I long for it: the zip and whizz of flight,
the wind’s force, bloodied palms, losing my grip.

'Flying The Kite' was published in our 15th issue, The Adventure Issue, which is available to buy here.