The Red Balloon


Melanie Dromboski

A single sentence poem in homage to James Joyce

In the cloudless periwinkle sky, a single red, rubbery, balloon hanging out with the oh-so-soft clouds, so high in the air and floating without any care and no formal direction above, people continuing to drift in their self-centered lives, while the balloon still moves, grazing old magnolia trees, barely avoiding her doom on white picket fences, noon turning to dusk while she’s vibing along with the sleepy sun and the approaching moon, glowing, with an entourage of stars crowding while the sun is kissing the sky, a passionate kiss filled with hope and goodbyes, before descending down, street lights, neon lights from nearby buildings, so bright against the blackened sky, and still the balloon continuing her journey, a graceful ballerina dancing alone, her pink pointed shoes and white dress twirling along with her in sync, pirouetting above the earthen floor, allowing the wind to guide her on the journey, passing mother raccoons searching feverishly through the trash in search for leftovers, above a wise old owl perched on a autumn leaved tree branch, hooting at the glittering, winking moon, as, in the corner of its eye, the passing balloon, swaying slow, and dragging her string on the treetops, before she passes over a red brick, country home, while a tired mother kisses her children goodnight beneath Orion and Leo gazing down at the red brick house where a teacher is sleeping, a cold coffee cup beside her computer, a red pen lingering between her fingers above her still waiting-to-be-graded papers, and the balloon now stopping, tugging, entangled in the branches, remaining there, idle, until morning when children making their way outside, stopping at the old magnolia tree, pointing their fingers and small mouths curling into oohs and ahhs, until the mothers pulling them away, reminding them to move on with their own alone and strenuous lives, and the balloon deflates with pleasure, knowing while everyone’s days had just begun her own adventure was finally done .