Highway Philosophising

pink balloon on the highway
shiny firm rotund
dancing bouncing on bright breezes
high and low and up and down

somewhere a child grips a tether
reaches for an escaped balloon
rising out of sight
drifting floating tripping away

tailwinds lift it higher
aid it in its buoyant flight
faster faster higher lower
jolly doomed balloon

can its very lightness save it
caught up in the airflow
gusts of wind from passing cars
cushioning the pink balloon

buffeted amongst the cars
random cheery orb
scowling drivers’ faces
melting into smiles

do the drivers ponder the limits of its flight
or feel a deeper sorrow when this ephemeral joy
meets fate upon the highway amongst the speeding cars
sending curled shreds of pink scattering in the wind

This poem is my contribution for dVerse Poets Open Link Night, Week 45

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About Chris

Chris Galvin is a Canadian writer, editor and photographer dividing her time between Canada and Viet Nam. Her essay Flood Season was a finalist for the 2012 Best of the Net prize, and Discovering Hến Rice in Central Việt Nam won third place (shared) and a Readers’ Choice Award in the 2015 I Must Be Off! Travel Essay Contest. Her work has appeared in various anthologies and literary journals, including Descant, Asian Cha, PRISM International, Room, and others. She has written in Vietnamese and English for Vietnam Tourism Review/Kham Pha Du Lich Vietnam Magazine, Travellive, and Du Lich Giai Tri. Chris is currently looking for a home for her recently completed manuscript, Breakfast Under the Bodhi Tree, a book about living, eating, and tour-guiding in Viet Nam.
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30 Responses to Highway Philosophising

  1. aprille says:

    I think it is a lovely interlude in all our lives, that we should stop for and take in.
    Almost like a video and reminding me of that Truffaut film.

  2. Louise says:

    Ah…I think it’s sorrow when the balloon meets its fate….sorrow because of what it stands for….this is a lovely write ~ ljh

  3. brian miller says:

    i would be so distracted by the balloon i would probably cause a wrek….ha, i like how you give the balloon such significance…you know the child that lost it loved it much…is the balloon sad or did it find freedom? if not for a moment before….POP

  4. I liked it – especially the conclusion – curled shreds of pink – there is always the certainty of short life with a balloon – one hopes its life gave joy and happiness in its brief and floating sojourn among us. Well done.
    http://beachanny.blogspot.com/2012/05/halcyon-days.html

  5. Laurie Kolp says:

    Chris- I love the image of the balloon escaping a child’s grasp… a reminder to enjoy the moment.

  6. raneedillon says:

    A sad end to a beautiful journey.

  7. tashtoo says:

    They are such an amazing focal point if we allow them to be. I think this a fantastic tale with a wonderful message infused in the words…you never know when it’s going to pop…loved it, despite the sad ending, we knew it had to be, allowing us to enjoy the journey to its fullest!

    • chris says:

      You never know when it’s going to pop…yes, exactly…and you never know how long anything will last, so enjoy while you can. Thanks for dropping by, Tash.

  8. Yes, such evocative things, escaped balloons. One always wonders at their eventual fate / destination.

    • chris says:

      That’s so true; usually we see them sail off into the sky, rising and dwindling to a dot, never knowing where they’ll go. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  9. A vvid write, Chris. I could see the balloon on its ill-fated journey along the highway. Very enjoyable read.

  10. ayala says:

    I love this, Chris . When my son was a little boy he bought me two balloons for Valentine’s Day and one of the balloons floated away. He was devastated even though I told him that it’s the thought that counts… Thank you for your thoughtful and sweet comment 🙂

    • chris says:

      Aw, how sad! It’s such an awful thing for a child to lose a balloon. They take it so seriously. Thanks for your comment Ayala.

  11. marousia says:

    Balloon floating are melancholy – but perhaps that is the appeal of balloons – love this!

    • chris says:

      Melancholy–I think that depends on how you look at them–I guess they carry both a melancholy aspect and a happy one at the same time, and perhaps that is also their appeal. 🙂 Thanks so much for reading, Marousia.

  12. claudia says:

    isn’t it awesome how a random balloon can take our mind to the deepest places..really like this

  13. Mark says:

    I thought I was the onliest one to ponder such things….great write, Chris.

  14. Quirina says:

    I love this poem, Chris. It seems our mind spirits seem to meet in the ether, because we tend to write on a similar vein at the same time. Your balloon, pink, the colour of rose, of free and fancy, and the frightful fate of a dream’s demise … (in my poem it was the melting wax …)

    • chris says:

      I’m all for mind spirits meeting in the ether! Funny, isn’t it, that we’ve written on similar subjects without planning it. Wonder what the next mind-ether meeting will produce…

  15. whatmaxwrote says:

    This is perfectly written, well done 🙂

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