Ann Pilling

Novelist and Poet

On Being Sixty

The balloons have drifted slowly up to the top of the house
where they nudge the ceiling and hover
like people waiting for a lift to open.
On Saturday they were full to bursting,
fat fruits ripe at the year's turning,
But they sag now.

Above our roof the sky's that tingling blue
of late October, homing birds etched black
in little lines, each cloud hand-picked.

They are bumping the rafters now
the sky's the thing
to be out there, to be carried across the world
on the thin, fine air, to get strength again
be more balloon than they were before.

Let me open the window.
One more push and we'll be away.

(from Home Field)

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