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The Balloon

The Balloon

I was six years old at a county fair
in the autumn of nineteen fifty-eight.

My dad won for me a big blue balloon
with his skill at pitching straight.

That balloon was my pride and joy
for the rest of that cotton candy night.

As we departed, that big blue balloon
slipped my grip and rose out of sight.

It rose to the stars, the sky swallowed it up,
and my mother comforted me as I cried.

“Rub your chest and make a wish, raise your palm to the skies,
the balloon will accept this piece of your heart, to join it as it flies.”

“Your heart will go over mountains of snow, and fly over fields of green,
and when you dream, your heart will show you all the balloon has seen.”

“And eventually some little child in a land so far away
will find your heart and that wandering balloon and care for it someday”

A mother’s words soothed the child that I was and she wiped away my tears
And yes, I did dream of exotic lands, both far away and near.

Years went by and I grew up and got schooled by the world.
One night in a dream of youthful desire there appeared a mysterious girl.

“I’ve found a balloon with a heart inside that says it belongs to you.
I’d like to return this piece of your heart, but I’m not sure what to do?”

“Be kind and gentle with my heart, please don’t let it break.
Perhaps we’ll meet in the real world, if I remember you when I wake.”

“No fear of that, my dream-found friend, I’ve grown to love this heart,
and I will tend to its nurturing now as I have right from the start.”

“Then keep that piece of my heart,” my dream-self said, “I can see you love it so.”
“I’d rather it stay with you anyway, it left me long ago.”

Life is strange in the way that it works, is it not my friends?
One meets strangers, they care for your heart, and then one day it ends.

But while we are here, we must do what we can to care for their hearts too.
 For balloons will fly, and dreams come true, just as surely as I love you.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

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