Helium Balloons Passing By My Window

The peddlers arrive
On the street corners early
And set up their wares, carts of plastic

Swords, plush monkeys on sticks
And colored balloons. The police
Appear soon after and place barricades
Ar the intersections, creating lines
Of traffic. The crowds then spread

Their lawn chairs
Along the curb beside tumblers of beer,
Sometimes it is green.

If I owned a car
I wouldn’t be able to get out,
But where would I want to go
On parade day? I can sit
At my window with my lunch

And watch the fire department
Go by in their dress uniforms
And listen to the marching
Bands from local high school.
Sometimes I laugh

To myself when I am startled
By a balloon, rising
Up over the telephone
Wires, that has escaped
The grasp of some kid’s hand.




Thomas O’Connell is a librarian living on the banks of the Hudson River in Beacon, NY, where is his the 2015-2016 poet laureate. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in Caketrain, The Los Angeles Review, The Broken Plate, and Blue Earth Review, as well as other print and online journals.