“That Red Balloon” by Lela

It was a grey evening.
Fall was beginning and the coldness lurked around our
town like a big heavy blanket.
The trees shook while the wind blew my hair all
over my face. I looked up at those dark clouds
covering the sky. The moon peeked out from
behind one. It was so reliable. Always
there. Just as you left it.
Then, I saw it. That red balloon.
It was just floating. Going
so high, swaying in whatever
direction the wind took
it, but always going
up. Always, always, going
up. Getting higher, getting
more free, getting away.
That red balloon, flying
so free. I wish I could
be just like that red
balloon, swaying in the wind
but always going up — until
it popped. It would pop
on a tree branch in the
way, blocking its path
to freedom. Blocking it from going to where it felt it

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