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Your mother made me a kite. It was big, impractical, it didn’t fly very well. But it was beautiful – long tail, paper stretched like parchment over a simple frame…she brought it out to Gordon’s Bay, in her little white Datsun … I was leaving for Umtata, a 12 hour drive ahead of me, and we met on the beach, beside the harbour: warm sand, blue sky, and the ocean opening out before us. Our lives lay before us. We were not yet married, not even betrothed: but this was a gesture of love; a sign; a kite, tossed up into the wind.

I drove to Umtata, alone, with Eileen’s kite in the back of the car.

Thirty years later, I wish I could talk to your mother, about that kite.

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