Balloon


Rainbow-striped above the neighborhood

swoops a hot air balloon.

The shadow rakes the rooftop,

marks my brother's face and mine

as we thatch the September lawn.

He drops a tool to earth

as if the siren called

and speed will save a man's life.



I shoot ahead before

a rule might hold my legs home.

Eyes and wrists to the sky,

I sight them in the cabin,

the short one half way to the tall one's shoulder,

an orange jet flaming

above their heads. I can

almost register a photograph

on the silver plate of my mind.

The tall one crouches,

head nestled to his companion.

He points us out.



Maybe our high-pitched cries

can touch their ears.

We chase like crazed terrestrial birds,

flight envy and evolution forgotten,

unmoored from maps, beyond

our precinct of safety

into foreign streets where dogs

smell our unease, where

flat-faced boys gun motor bikes

and shoot heat and razored

grass from vibrating mowers.

But we pass through

and arrive at the landing

to see whose faces they have.

I see him and it is true.

I am no longer

the small size of a boy.

Erik Gleibermann







The Adirondack Review
The St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poems
The St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poems
The St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poemsThe St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poemsThe St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poems
The St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poems
ERIK GLEIBERMANN  is a high school teacher and private writing mentor in San Francisco. His work has appeared in Jewish Affairs (South Africa), Red Rock Review, New Delta Review, Tikkun, The Spoon River Poetry Review, and other publications.