(a double tanka of)


her mama gave her
a balloon with Mickey ears.
no hesitation,
(fly!) she let go of the string
and giggled it to the clouds.

forty years later,
with a full inflated heart,
tired empty hands
and a penchant for worn truth,
she is still watching the sky.



Prompted by OctPoWriMo, day 6



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13 Responses to helium

  1. steph says:

    Awesome… I write a lot of tanka… I like this a lot!

  2. Esther Jones says:

    This gave me chills.

  3. Misky says:

    Nice. Love this, De.

  4. graciesbnana says:

    Reblogged this on The Corner Table and commented:
    Awww! What a lovely piece this is.

  5. graciesbnana says:

    Awww! What a lovely ready this was!

  6. Hedera says:

    Ha ha. I always love what you do with the word “tanka,” as well as how creative you get WITH your tanka. 🙂

    helium (of course) = hell, I, um

    And her momma gave it to her. She gave her hell. She made her stutter. She made her feel inadequate and off balance and floaty … in a bad way.

    OR, it could go the other way. Her momma gave her everything she needed to lift up and take off, but now responsibilities have grounded her … and she sure doesn’t like it. 😦

  7. Well, she is impressive not to have had a tantrum, as mine always did. They never quite believed that it would float away until it really and truly did.
    Reminiscing to when life was a whole lot simpler, I’m sure.

    • whimsygizmo says:

      True story. When I was little, I liked to let the balloon go, and watch until I couldn’t see it anymore. My mama finally figured out I got just as much joy, if not more, than carrying the thing around all day.

  8. Susan says:

    Love. I’ve been thinking so much lately about how that little girl lives in us still. When mine showed up recently, I realized how much i missed her. Hope she sticks around.

  9. This is beautifully sad

  10. Janet says:

    …and giggled up up to the clouds:) I can see it!! I had a little girl who ‘wailed it up to the clouds;-)
    …and then the way you brought Then to now is the surprise! Superb as always.

  11. Grace Black says:

    Wonderful execution filled with delightful emotion. Well done!

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