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The Mother’s Loathing of Balloons

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I hate you,
How the children plead
At first sight—

I want, I need,
I hate how nearly
Always I

At first say no,
And then comply.
(Soon, soon

They will grow bored
Clutching your
Umbilical cord)—

Over the moon,
Lighter-than-air,
Should you come home,

They’d cease to care—
Who tugs you through
The front door

On a leash, won’t want you
Anymore
And will forget you

On the ceiling—
Admittedly,
A giddy feeling—

Later to find you,
Puckered, small,
Crouching low

Against the wall.
O thin-of-skin
And fit to burst,

You break for her
Who wants you worst.
Your forebear was

The sack of the winds,
The boon that gives
And then rescinds,

Containing nothing
But the force
That blows everyone

Off course.
Once possessed,
Your one chore done,

You float like happiness
To the sun,
Untethered afternoon,

Unkind,
Marooning all
You’ve left behind:

Their tinfoil tears,
Their plastic cries,
Their wheedling

And moot goodbyes,
You shrug them off—
You do not heed—

O loose bloom
             With no root
                              No seed.
Source: Poetry (June 2009)

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This poem originally appeared in the June 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

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The Mother’s Loathing of Balloons

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