Cutting Strings

A bouquet of balloons

strains against its bonds,

dancing in the breeze with

its anchor of ground.

 

I imagine releasing them

with scissors,

one, two, three, more,

watching them fly into

the never-never blue,

and they shrink into nothingness,

into stars.

 

The balloons are pieces of me,

pieces that long to be free.

With each snip I can easily

pretend

that life is beautiful,

and close my eyes to my pain.

 

One day I find a real bouquet,

and they float peacefully above

his grave, many popped,

and all of them tangled together

like the yarn ball in my heart.

 

So I catch a shard of glass from

a broken vase—cruel windstorm

—and I slash at the ribbons,

cutting away the fallen balloons

and untangling the live ones.

 

They spring up like soldiers

guarding his grave,

secured by their strings.

 

I hold the scraps of ribbon

in my hands and weep.

Those strings were better

to cut.

Not life strings, but weight strings.

Burden strings.

 

Balloons tied to ground say

that if your heart beats,

God wants you here.

Cut away your burdens,

but not your life.

 

A bouquet of balloons

strains against its bonds,

dancing in the breeze with

its anchor of ground.

 

I watch them,

my body in warm grass,

one, two, three, more

minutes spent enjoying

the never-never blue,

which will melt into nothingness,

into stars.

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