Friday, September 15, 2006


A bunch of bright-colored balloons rises
like a wind-tossed spray of October maple
silhouetted against the pearl-grey sky.

Somewhere out of sight, around the corner
a string slipped from someone’s grasp and freed
a bunch of bright-colored balloons to rise

like firebirds above a clearing in a Russian
fairy-tale forest. The wind carries them away until
they’re just silhouettes against a pearl-grey sky.

I wonder, was it carelessness or compassion
that let go the string? Did someone say: “These
bright-colored balloons should be left to rise

to their own level?” In the schoolhouse,
dusty white figures frieze the chalkboards
like stiff silhouettes against pearl-grey skies.

It’s not time to cut those strings. But give them
colored chalk, at least. On the windy playground
bright-colored clothes balloon around children rising
on swings, silhouetted against the pearl-grey sky.

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