Bullets fly out from guns propelled by shooter’s hand and
soundly land in the bodies of those who fight for this land.
Twenty soldiers in the Hood fall to violence showered down,
The news is interrupted by a commercial that pays for its display.
Balloons, pure, white, innocent, a targeted message to convey,
tempt us to fill up shopping carts with things for which we pay.
When a child, I viewed a balloon’s ascent as something magical
as it soared above the problems of the earth soiled below.
As it would rise, so would my spirits climb to watch its show.
That was before I knew of pollution and the harm of plastics.
That was before I knew of consumerism and the sin of greed.
That was before I knew of war that brings grown men onto knees.
That was before I knew of bullets that do their troubled deeds.
Now, dozens of white balloons ascend into the atmosphere, carrying
with them the near-empty, bold-red basket light enough to fly.
Emptiness, waiting to be filled by life’s promises, marketed for sale.
© Joy Martin
Southern-born, Joy now makes her home in New England. When not writing poetry, taking photographs, dancing, hiking, and singing, she makes a living in the Information Technology arena. Her poems explore the many facets of life, including her and broader humanity’s place and challenges within it.