Guest Poet Barbara Ehrentreu

Broken Balloons

We were all young once
dreamt unexamined dreams
sure they would be fulfilled.
Our eyes shone on a bright future
from black and white pictures now
moldering in yearbooks taken
when for us the world was fresh
as a newly bound book

Through this magical kingdom
we walked unencumbered
by the weight of old hopes
Burst by strings of desires unmet
In pursuit of undeveloped
apparitions we planned 
and strived - 
not believing for 
a  minute our longings
would turn out to be - 
years later - 
like the insides 
of a broken balloon.
Only the beads of moisture
on the torn rubber 
a remnant of the time
when we blew into them
all of our youth.

May, 2000

Barbara Ehrentreu's Questions:

1.  Does the metaphor of the balloons work?

2.  Can you guess that this is a poem about the reality of having lived long enough to see that most of your dreams are just that, though some of the joy of how you felt remains even if they don't come true?

That was difficult for me to show and I hope that the beads of moisture express this.

The Albany Poetry Workshop