big yellow balloon


The day you flew away in a big yellow balloon, the sky
was bright and clear, our minds free from clouds of
doubt. You didn't make any promises, didn't tell me you'd
be back soon, and I thought perhaps all goodbyes
should be like that—untethered, open—otherwise why even
say goodbye
at all? You always lived your life 
with no strings 
attached, always floated when everyone
chose to thrash about, or panic, or sink. You hated it
when I mixed metaphors but I couldn't help
but think there was no way you could drown
from up there, not when there was so much sky and
so much air. Not when you were looking down on all
of us, not when you were so far from our heavy hearts,
our boulders and ropes and stay here, please.

The day you flew away in a big yellow balloon 
I shielded my eyes against the harsh glare and 
waited until you had covered enough distance for me 
to believe that your big yellow balloon was the sun, 
and that the light on my face was your warmth.