27 Nov 2009

The story of the 10 red balloons

Last night the little museum shop I work at put on a special night for our customers with wine and fancy finger food and real live music and helium balloons smothering the ceiling. It was crazy, hectic busy and my head and my feet were so sore after a nine hour stint. Once the people had gone and our doors were closed it was time for me to venture homeward.

I took ten red helium balloons with me
because I knew I must,
that they were too bright to be left to deflate alone in the night.

As I raced for my train,
my ten balloons trailed behind me -
fluttering with my hair.
Lots of people stared; bewildered,
and some smiled.

I waited on the underground platform
for my train with my
red balloons bobbing
with the gush of wind as each train passed.
I felt joy tickle my tired toes.
I felt my headache easing.

I climbed onto the train
and tried earnestly to squeeze
myself into a corner without knocking
a young man reading a book
with the balloons.
It didn't really help -
He got knocked around often,
And I felt those balloons had a mind
(and sense of humour) of their own.

Stepping out into the night -
I saw the familiar air and scapes of my neighbourhood;
steps and road and trees,
the crowds outside the falafel shop,
the neon glow of a grocery store on top of the hill,
cicadas gentling buzzing,
the mewing of tortoise shell cat,
and the quiet of a half-hidden park -
Only this time I had a host of floating red friends with me.

I decided to skip home instead of walk.

I hoped they might have stayed up through the night;
but when I woke this morning they were gently resting on the floor; in the state you see above.

But in my memory
they are still bobbing with cheerful abandon
on a crowded metropolitan train platform -
to the puzzled faces of adults,
and children's squeals of delight.


  1. I love this story! I can see you skipping - and now I feel like skipping, dancing, living like you live, loving like you love! Kindred, I feel close to you today. Thank you for being so precious - precious enough to know the joy, in ten red balloons!

  2. Your story is like a poetic movie scene and you are that beautiful woman that is glowing all over with bright and happy, loving, heart warming light.
    I would have loved to see you skip in that gloomy train station with those red balloons and joy all over you..and i would of loved to join you!

  3. Oh I love this so much! I can just imagine your beautiful self standing at the station adding some magic and whimsy, suddenly and unexpectedly, to so many tired people going home after another boring day at the office. It's moments like that which make life suddenly luminous again.

  4. Oh Emily, I wished I had seen you running down the street, past the hurried people walking by and onto the train...you are bringing beauty and wonder wherever you go! Thankyou for sharing this beautiful story!!

  5. :)

    This put such a glad grin on my face.
    Love you.

  6. Love it.

    Have you seen La Ballon Rouge (1956)?

    if not, check it out...very cute!

  7. What a delightful story. I felt like I was there with you as you were travelling with those lovely red balloons :-)


Thank you for reading! I do so love and appreciate every one of your comments even if I don't get a chance to reply.