Poem of the Week: March 10th, 2014

Our poem of the week, “Balloon,” is by Dan Pinkerton. He lives in Des Moines, Iowa and his poems have appeared in Boston Review, Sonora Review, Indiana Review, and Hayden’s Ferry Review. More of his work can also be found in the latest issue of burntdistrict, volume 2, issue 2.

By Dan Pinkerton

He grew tired of its whispered demands,
the hot soggy air on his neck, so he decided
to fill it with the voices of those who yelled

at children and dogs. In his garage he kept
a hose and vacuum seal for such tasks.
The balloon now resembled a snared animal

puckered at one end, tight pink belly heaving
with labored breaths. Lately he found
he’d been yelling at librarians and doormen.

His library privileges had been revoked.
He dreamt of opening a hatch and watching
the balloon drift skyward, carrying with it

the weight of this daily clamor. It would
scrape against the atmosphere as shards of ozone
flaked away, and he would stand in his yard

beneath the ghostly bare branches of the sycamore,
summoning first the silver-flecked winds, then the rains
that would fall like canvas over empty pianos.

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