“Red Balloon,” oil on panel, by Paul Klee, 1922.

by Phil Berry

There’s a silver balloon
Over a post by the road
Where all must pause.

As the anniversary wanes
And the helium leaks
The blind breeze nudges

Its face of crumpled gilt
Into turning stems
Steeped in diesel,

Wired at the midriff
Starved and leaning
As though to retch

In sudden grief.


Phil Berry’s short fiction and poetry have appeared in Metaphorosis, Headstuff, Chrome Baby, The Healing Muse, and Bunbury Magazine, among others. He lives and works in London.