The Lead Balloons

The lead balloons!

on January 11, 2005. © -MFB III -All rights reserved

His mama used to
buy him red balloons
when he was a wee lad.
She'd watch his eyes sail upward
with that helium orb
in a vertical flight
as a smile stretched
in horizontal delight
across his face.

He'd dance as it bobbed
and he'd bob as it danced
on the end of a string
in the warm April breeze
and he shout in a tiny voice
"I Love you....Mom!"
as they both tiny stepped
up the avenue to home.
His mama bought a red balloon
the day he left and launched it
in honor of her grown up son.
It rose in a vertical salute as he
flew somewhere far above
on a horizontal path
across the earth's orb.
A tight smile crossed his lips
as he landed and embarked
on a mission for his homeland.
That red balloon exploded
the very next day
two hundred and twenty miles
from where she let it go,
and in the warm desert breeze
not too many weeks later,
a piece of lead ballooned
inside the chest of her dear boy.
His eyes ascended upward as
a splash of red imploded
then he danced and bobbed
as if on a string himself.
All the men around him
heard him cry out in a tiny voice
"I love you, Mom." as he
tiny stepped a few feet and
fell down into a venue of death
that would bring her only child home
In Arlington each year
upon the date
that fate stole
her sweet son.

One will find
among the many
that stretch over
an endless field.......

that the white is almost pure
but for a tiny spot of red.
It sails above one cross
and highlights
the intensity of a
precious Mothers love.

          ~~~ O
             -- /
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Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 7 years ago


"A white sheet on the tail-gate of a truck

Becomes an altar; two small candlesticks

Sputter at each side of the crucifix

Laid round with flowers brighter than the blood,

Red as the red of our apocalypse,

Hibiscus that a marching man will pluck

To sick into his rifle or his het,

And great blue morning-glories pale as lips

That shal no longer taste or kiss or swear.

The wind begins a low magnificat,

The chaplain chats, the palmtrees swirl their hair,

The columns come together through the mud."

ELEGY FOR A DEAD SOLDIER (first stanza of 11)

Karl Shapiro

New Guinea, 1944

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