Jo March

Blue Balloon

Splash of cornflower blue paint

Forget-me-nots on a purple string

Crushed wings of violets folded 

Softly trembling behind the rubber 

Glossy surface of my dusky blue balloon 

 

My small hands wrap round 

Touch its winding ribbons

The balloon bounces up and down 

Tugging at my arm… I feel happy

Slightly giddy after my 8th birthday 

 

I hold on to the balloon’s string

Curled in a tangled sinuous line

I cling to smoky dreams wrapped

In the balloon’s rubber tinsel  

Packaged in its ash blue oval

 

And suddenly I let go 

My balloon careens

Disappearing… hiding… 

In gray-snow clouds

Reappearing in the fog 

 

My small frame crumbles

Aches beneath my grief 

I wonder in what mossy clover 

Or under what leafy roof 

My balloon found shelter 

 

I long to know where it

Would fly or if it would build 

A home up on a blue cloud 

In the rose-blush sky long 

Long after my hand released it

 

I imagine my balloon 

Ash blue ice cream scoop 

Melting in toasted air 

Ice dissolving puddle-warm

On a parched tongue 

 

Perhaps it landed 

Among the cornflowers

Tossed by the winnowing wind

Or is rolling soft beside creaking 

Wheels of run-down wheelbarrows 

 

I wipe my tears and try 

Hard to smile as I look up 

Searchingly at the sky

I know my balloon is there

Springing light on sugar spun clouds

 

It is somewhere far away

Gently basking in the sun

Or playing on a swing 

In buttermilk playgrounds so far 

So lovely… my tiny piece of heaven…

 



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