Balloons Are Always Blue

“I hate balloons,”
The child said, and I nearly told him
But then thought of a time when I, much younger then,
Insisted that I didn’t like daffodils
And an older gentleman told me
Burying the conversation in a shallow grave.

So I settled on the other word
The one which, every year, grows harder to roll off the tongue
And asked the boy,
Guessing he’d once been startled by a premature detonation
Or he couldn’t stand the screeches they make
When you clutch them too tight

But his reasoning surprised me,
In its simplicity and apparent incorrectness,
As he informed me,
“Because balloons are always blue.”

I glanced at the balloon in my hand
The one I was holding for a ladyfriend
Who, at the time, I believed to be a woman worth holding balloons for
And saw that it was, indeed, blue.
Nonetheless, his logic seemed wanting.

“What about the red balloons?”
I asked,
“And the orange ones
And the green ones
And the not-quite-pink ones
And the very-nearly-purple ones
And need I go on?”

The boy gave me a disdainful look
A look that implied that he wanted to say
But was so blessed as to have not  yet learned the word.
“You don’t understand at all,”
He told me.
“They’re red and green and very-nearly-purple
When you hold them in your hand.
But when you let them go…”
And here he turned his face up
With a meaningful look at the azure expanse above, before concluding,
“All balloons are blue in the end.”

I followed the boy’s gaze to the skies
And when my eyes dropped down to earth again
The boy
Like the balloon, an hour or so later
And the ladyfriend, some weeks after that
Was gone.

I still think about that boy
Now that I am older
And closer to the time when I might become blue
But more likely brown and, shortly after, green
With spots of yellow where the daffodils bloom
I let a balloon loose every now and then
Watching as it turns blue just at the edge of here-no-longer
And I shiver with the wind that carries it away
Or with the thought, gazing up into the cerulean sea
Of how many balloons it took
To paint the heavens such a vibrant hue

blue balloon blue sky


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11 Responses to Balloons Are Always Blue

  1. The Modern Leper says:

    Reblogged this on The Cynical Romantic..

  2. hahahaha i am always blue

  3. Reblogged this on Commander Cookie Wolf and commented:
    I like this:

    “So I settled on the other word
    The one which, every year, grows harder to roll off the tongue
    And asked the boy,

    This post reminds me of the time a friend of mine was working in a bookstore and some kid asked him where to find a book about The Simpsons. He showed him where it was and the kid said, “Why’s it in the Horror section?” They both looked at the sign above the section and my friend carefully enunciated the word “Humor” (which is what it said. The kid just shrugged and said, “Same difference!” I feel like there’s a lesson in that somewhere, but damned if I know what it is…

    • “I’ve found out why people laugh. They laugh because it hurts so much…” – Robert Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

      Humor and horror are never too far away from each other, whether alphabetically or ideologically.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I think this one needs to be submitted to a proper journal.

  5. This is wonderfully written! Have you thought of turning it into a short story?

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