Red Balloon

The funeral march is coming. Little boy beats his drum, the only one he’s ever known, while all the grown ups dress in black. They’re thinking about next week and all the jobs left undone; he’s thinking about a red balloon floating somewhere up near the sun. He let it go with a note, “I hope they have giraffes where you’ve gone.” It was all he could think to say, and besides it was true. One day he would be there too, or so they said, and to mark the way he’d chosen red and let his hope float up towards the moon away from his home, the only one he’d ever known, on the flickering tail of a red balloon.