The Balloon Man

There’s a helium shortage but people don’t seem to care:
They want their balloons,
for their parties and celebrations.

They want red balloons, black balloons, green balloons.
For every occasion and gathering.

To tie to the mailbox with ribbon.
To have in the room for kids
to bounce to one another.

The balloon man shuffles through his book of balloons
to see which ones are the most popular right now,
which ones he is running low on.

Get well balloons.

Sadness overcomes him as he thinks about
all the people who are sick and how the balloons might cheer them up
or remind them they are still sick.

Then he thinks about balloons
as a choking hazard,
as kids should really never
play with balloons
but they do anyways.

He prays everyday that the parents are supervising their children with every ballon he sells them,
Balloons always pop.

He wonders if he’s depressed.
He’s been sleeping a lot,
unable to find
the motivation to get out of bed in the morning,
he’s falling behind on his bills –
being a balloon man doesn’t really pay off.

He wonders about the stories of his customers.
What will they do with their balloons?
Let them float into the air?
Wait until the helium is gone and store them forever as a memory?

He waits at his booth in the store
where the customers come for balloons
and he puts his head on his hands.

He doesn’t like balloons.

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