Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Poetry Series: RED BALLOON

Red Balloon
Liz Fink-Davenport

I am 5. I'm looking up to see faces. And down to see shoes. And my hands and my head can't hold all that is the World. Too much big. I remember a hand around mine that was warm and engulfing and tugging to places so fast and so large. Trusting that warm, dry grip. Feet shuffling to keep up.

I can never shake that. That pull. And when a new hand grabs mine and gruffs, "Come on". I come. My heart yanked like a child's balloon. I'm pulled here and there.

I have dug with my fingernails and palms out of more graves. Scratched my way to air, gasping and pulling my torso from sucking earth. More times. You are no different. This grave is no deeper. You pulled, I came. And when I saw no other balloons and no joy and the warm hand let me slip into the ground....I felt cold dirt rolling over me again. No different. All the same. It's always the same shovel. Same dark. Same hurt. Same. Same. Same.

But I dig. Hard. I pull and struggle and wriggle my nose above the dirt and breathe deep. Then I heave my body back to sea level. Panting. No, this is not my first time. Or my last. Because I have dirty nails and earth crusted hair.

But there is a hand. Reaching down. Again. "Come on." I take it. I'm up and shuffling again. My red ballon bouncing behind me. See? That's how I always find the sky again. And another hand. My balloon. It stays above the ground. But always tethered to me. My heart. It is always just above the dirt but never so high as drifting in to the clouds. And you yank. Come on.