Inspired by the amazing Jennifer Liston and her wonderful 'Mrs. Noah' poem, and the Mary Poppins story of the Balloon Woman with her 'Balloons AND balloons, my dearie ducks!'
Three months and dithering
She gave in finally.
Walked to the store, money in hand
Bought that damned book
The one with the detective (she hated the dames)
The one she identified with so much
She wished they could have dinner.
Talk all night. Dance all night.
If wishes were horses – but she didn’t ride
And she’d fallen off the one time she did.
She went to the park. She felt it was calling her.
Breezes, sun, perfect lazy weather
And there at the entrance was a Balloon Woman.
“Balloons and balloons, my dearie ducks!” she cried.
“There’s a balloon for everyone
If you only take your time!”
What the hell, she thought, it’s only fifty cents.
So she paid, and took her time
And picked a balloon, scarlet as the bright stripe
On her defiantly undercut hair.
To her surprise, initials appeared like magic
On the balloon’s spherical surface –
Beautifully calligraphed, an O and a C.
“…Those aren’t my initials!” she exclaimed.
“They’re mine though,” said a voice beside her.
Startled, she turned, and right there was The Detective
(She recognised him at once, she knew his description so well.)
“Maybe this is yours?” he asked, and handed her
A deep blue balloon that looked like velvet and stars
And sure enough, her initials.
“Thank you,” she stammered, and handed over his balloon.
“They say if you wish hard enough, you can fly,” he murmured.
She looked at him. At the balloon. Then back at him again.
“Let’s go flying,” she said, with a smile like sparkling lemonade.
And the Balloon Woman watched with a satisfied dimple
As they held hands and swooped into the air
Balloons flying joyously like flags –
The Detective, in his dapper suit
And the Dame, in her tank top and old blue jeans
Laughing and talking, light as dandelions
On the good spring breeze.