Julee Balko

Photo by author

The fireworks feel like a defibrillator
trying to restart my heart.
The light shines in the sky.
But not in me.

The month is July.
But summer is dead.
Every day is a shaky rope bridge.
I don’t know if I can keep you safe.

People are making noodle salad,
And I’m trying to remember the last time
this family
felt worth
celebrating.

And the fireworks light the sky.
They illuminate you.
Hands on your ears.
Hair in your mouth.
My girl, my light.
You are so dim.

The fireworks shimmer
And I can’t breathe.
We all sit on a blanket
but we couldn’t be further apart.

I look around and wonder
who else is hiding
heartbreak in their joy?

The crowd cheers for the finale
And I wonder if we’ll make it
to the end.

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Photo by Liane Metzler on Unsplash

I’m letting go

Of the you

I saw dancing

On the stage.

I’m letting go

Of the rhythm

I saw our life.

Embrace change

I said.

But I lied.

Didn’t I?

When you change

All I want

Is to

Hit pause

Or revert

Back

To the time

Your small hand

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