Just a little wind

Photo credit: Alexander Solomon

This poem was originally performed at The Prophet’s  “Tongues of Fire” spoken word event. 

By Kyle Walden

Thomas comes in:
I think your tent is flying away
I panic,
but that won’t do
I leave my breakfast without question
and see a tent
like a plastic bag in the wind
violently tumbling toward
the jade blue lake
the freezing aftermath of a melting Grey

I run wildly with a pace I cannot sustain
my breaths pounding like my feet
pump harder
over the rocky soil and that damned low brush
jumping over the wooden pathway
it’s quite the obstacle course I have to traverse
to remedy one mistake

I crash onto my hands
hhhhhthe culprits of my ensuing terror
the rocks slip under my feet
now my legs shake
my knees burn
my left hand is split open
hhhhhhthat will leave a nice scar

but the tent flies anyway
so I get up immediately
barreling towards that kite
hhhhhhdid you know with just a little Wind
hhhhhhit could move so quickly
hhhhhhhhhhhhfly so high

I don’t know what I’m doing here
I’m a novice
I’m sprinting across an open field
in front of strangers and would-be-friends
they won’t take me seriously anymore

I didn’t notice the Wind this morning
I didn’t think about the need for the bags
to weigh down the tent
I was only trying to help speed up our exit
but I forgot
I didn’t think of all the possibilities
hhhhhhI can’t think of all the possibilities

Providence sends out a crew early from the refugio
as they walk towards the trailhead

they see the tent spiraling at them near the lake
one of the three catches the tent
despite his heavy backpack
hhhhhhI was only ten paces away
but that intervention rescues the tent
it saves me from material disaster
hhhhhhbut hardly from the guilt and shame

I fall on top of the tent
my adrenaline prevents any tears
although internally they well up
hhhhhhpushing against my temples
I take care not to bend the poles
that turned my peaceable dwelling into a kamikaze sail
hhhhhhhow odd that just a little Wind
hhhhhhcan make something so ferociously alive
some of the clips are missing
and I won’t be able to recover them all

I don’t realize Jeremy is right behind me
I’m embarrassed
hhhhhhit’s all my fault

are you okay, asks Jeremy
thank goodness the tent is safe
that would have been bad

I feel terrible
yet his silence is solace
and his non-judgment a perfect grace
this is our tent
he knows it’s my fault
yet he must know that blaming won’t help us move forward
even though my bleeding hand throbs to remind me of my error
hhhhhhthat will make a nice scar, Jeremy says

we walk back to camp
Jeremy is taking care of the amateur
with some small talk and a willful ignorance

the others will give me a hard time at first
fortunately we have the rest of the journey ahead of us


Kyle is a second-year M.Div student at BU School of Theology. Hailing from the Dallas area, he is a certified candidate for ordination as an elder in the United Methodist Church in the North Texas Annual Conference. Kyle is proud to be part of UM-Forward, a collective of United Methodist liberationists fiercely committed to advancing POC+Q+T liberation through an intersectional, enfleshed, and anti-colonial framework. Also a musician, he is currently the worship coordinator for the Wesleyan Student Association and the director of the STH praise band.

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