- Vol. 08
- Chapter 01
She climbed into the gondola, my mother,
helped by hands knowledgeable, kind.
The envelope quivered excitedly,
Candy-striped, from crown to mouth,
yellow, red, green, blue, sweet
promise on a sunny autumn morning.
Thumbs up, with fire roaring, waking
the sleepy river underneath
– they took off –
Mother waved at us: farewell! and
soon the balloon’s shape hovered
bright over the city’s sandstone spires,
then floated higher, higher, growing
smaller, smaller, until all we could see
was sky and a few, scattered clouds.
A blissful disappearance.
I see my mother’s waving hand still
as if this had been yesterday, now that
I held it through her final breath,
have seen her vanish right before my eyes
again it is this time of year,
the leaves are turning, and the air, yet mellow,
has begun to dream of winter, and I –
I think of her up there,
among a cheerful party of balloonists,
revellers airborne steering ships in happy company,
contented, looking down on us, occasionally.
Maybe she has become a pilot, too, and loves
her journey just as much as she did then,
on her first flight that sunny autumn morning,
so many years ago.