Poetry Friday: Cutting Strings

I wrote a piece called Cutting Strings in April 2014; this is the poem version of it.

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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