2015 PAD – Day 6

The day six prompt at Poetic Asides was “write a things-not-as-they-appear poem.” I actually saw this sight last week and couldn’t believe how quick I was to mentally fill in all the details of the “party.” (And I never reaized you could buy tiny LED lights to insert into balloons.):


From a distance you’d think it was
a child’s birthday celebration, with an enormous
flock of colored balloons, full and gleaming,
on a patio where cake would soon be served
on a glass-topped table, the paving stones strewn
with orphaned bows and scraps of printed paper.
You’d drive on picturing that party
and feeling a bit wistful
for games and sweets and shouting,
for towering balloon bunches and noisemakers,
for the company and enthusiasm of friends.

Driving by again at night, you’d almost brake
to spot those balloons glowing
like multicolored moons from fantastical planets
with no one in attendance, just
that rainbow moon mound keeping watch
over the silent yard. So you’d have to
drive by again in daylight just to see,

and you wouldn’t like the realization
that the balloons were stuffed into the crooks
of a sharp, austere tree,
robbed of breeze-jumbled buoyancy
or the ability to rise like a giggle
into the early spring sky. You’d determine
there had been tiny LED lights in the balloons
to make them luminescent, but now
some were deflated to grapefruit size,
small, dull deaths in the stranglehold
of the unrelenting tree, and for what?

You’d have to acknowledge
there had never been a party
in the first place, just an attempt
at festive yard decor. And you’d marvel
at the power of imagination
to transform that empty patio,
that spiky, balloon-crammed tree
into a sunny mirage of childhood
revelry–something, it turns out,
you didn’t realize you needed.


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