Michael Rosen
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The Balloon

They’ve invented a balloon that stays on the ceiling.
They’ve invented a balloon that stays on the ceiling.

Nevermore will I have that morning bring-down feeling:
waking up and seeing
balloons I bought the day before
lying on the floor.
No feeling bad.
No feeling sad.
Now it stays
for days and days
and nights and nights
hanging out by my bedroom light.

Nevermore will we laugh
at the balloon that could last
and floated in mid-air
halfway between the ceiling and floor;
the balloon that couldn’t make its mind up
whether to sink or soar.

Now we have:
Mr Perfecto
Numero uno
The Clever-Dick
with its one stay-in-the-air trick,
never dropping,
never stopping topping,
never fated
to be deflated,
forever over our heads
and over our beds,
scarcely budging
gently nudging
unbearably slow
the guest who won’t go.

It’s not a balloon. That’s a lie.
It’s a spy.

So I say:
Bring back the bring-down
the balloon going to ground;
the balloon that wrinkles
and crinkles;
the balloon that would often
soften.

I don’t want to live with:
the horror
of the balloon that’ll be up there tomorrer;
the plastic freak
up there next week;
the fear
it’ll be up there next year.

I want to keep my appointment
with disappointment.

 

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