They gave balloons to all the kids,
in hopes (my guess) of keeping
them occupied as parents shopped.
Helium-filled, squeaky red spheres
of shimmering joy, tied on each slender
wrist, and the scheme did work,
for a while at least, until we
tried to take it off to strap him
in his seat and he screamed
holy hell; and we fingered
the string to feed him supper,
and he fought us off; and it was
time for bath and there was No Way
he was going to wear it in the tub,
but he gave our ears such a
buffeting that we gave in, washing
around the knotted white twine.
Then time for bed, and now
for sure he would obey or else,
and the hollering resumed; finally
I had enough, took the balloon
in my furious hands and wrenched—
Pop! My sudden act of benevolence.
And later, sleepless, I wondered if God
felt guilty for ending our fun
over one shiny red obsession.
--Submitted to dVerse OpenLinkNight. Come join in!