The Air Is Out of the Balloon

by Bruce Maples

The balloon lies lifeless
    spent
        shapeless on the floor.

The writing on the side can’t be read.
The string trails away, wandering under a couch.

Once
    The balloon was full, and floating, and proud.
    Proud to be seen,
        Proud to rise above all else,
            Proud to let everyone see the name on the side —

                “Bruce’s Music Ministry!”

    Never mind that the balloon was too high for some to read.
    Never mind that the air it required to stay afloat took too much air from other balloons.

    It was big, and bright, and high.
    And it was mine.

And now,
    the air is out of the balloon.
    And I don’t know what to do.

Balloon-Maker, Balloon-Giver,
    Take my balloon and show me where, and how, and when (and whether) to fly it.

2002/07/04

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