Treasure Island


(01/01/1966 / BIRMINGHAM)

The Red Balloon

A little girl stands lost within
The crowded market place,
She clutches to the piece of string
Tied to her red balloon.

She ran away from home that morn
Now lost and all alone,
The tears run down her rosy cheeks
She has nowhere to go.

Her coat is holed her skirt is torn
Her laces are untied,
Her blouse is stained and dirty
For she dwelt in poverty.

And beaten every day she lived
She could not take no more,
Her mother drank her life away
Her father was unknown.

So now her precious red balloon
Is all she has in life,
That the rag and bone man gave her
For her sodden handkerchief.

Amidst the noise and bustle
Of the town that does not care,
She tries to steal an apple
But the trader slaps her hand.

She bows her head and walks along
Still hungry and forlorn,
Yet no one stops to help her
And continue on their way.

Surrounded by the mass of legs
And laden shopping bags,
She's pushed and jostled back and forth
As if an old rag doll.

She's knocked down to the pavement
And lets go of her balloon,
Then watches as it drifts unto
The clouds high up above.

It's carried on the winter wind
And soon blows out of sight,
And with it goes her hopes and dreams
Of happy childhood days.

Submitted: Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Edited: Wednesday, July 06, 2011

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Comments about this poem (The Red Balloon by ANDREW BLAKEMORE )

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  • C. P. Sharma (3/9/2010 6:26:00 AM)

    The poem stands apart in poetic craftsmanship. I find in it great dedication to the cause of the poor children everywhere. I join you in this noble cause to arouse social conscious in this regard.

    Bright child future should be our sole concern,
    No child should ever as laborer earn;
    They all in pink of health grow,
    Freedom be their treasure trove.

    No hungry child goes to bed,
    No child ever be seen unclad;
    Schooling for all at every cost,
    So as youth can proudly boast.
    CP (Report) Reply

  • Emu Getachew (10/26/2009 5:24:00 PM)

    This is a despondent piece with fine images and great narrative. If there is any consolation, I guess at the end the gift the balloon gave to the child is a sense of freedom. Well penned… (Report) Reply

  • Sandra Fowler (10/24/2009 11:23:00 AM)

    The beauty of utter and complete
    fragility is depicted in this forlorn
    poem of a little girl lost. The red
    balloon carries her childhood
    away. Unforgettable, Andrew.

    With admiration for your art,

    Sandra (Report) Reply

  • Ernestine Northover (10/18/2009 9:00:00 AM)

    There is something very forlorn about a balloon, always edging to get away and be free. Something that this child also wanted to do, they were a pair together. Sadly it didn't end the way we would have liked, and sadness descended at the end. A great read though with lots of wonderful imagery to set the picture.

    Love and hugs Ernestine XXX (Report) Reply

  • Alison Cassidy (10/16/2009 7:27:00 AM)

    Melodrama penned without sentimentality. Now that's quite a feat. Like Frank, I didn't expect the sad ending, but I think it's the reason the poem works so incredibly well. Congratulations. You're quite a story teller! Love, Allie ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (10/13/2009 8:01:00 AM)

    Imagery is unforgettable! The most sorrowful aspect of society is movingly depicted. Andrew! Deepening of sorrow at the end is most unbearable part of tragedy! Wonderful! (Report) Reply

  • Karin Anderson (sorry can't vote or comment) . (10/13/2009 7:20:00 AM)

    This is so masterfully written Andrew and the stanza that really first did it for me was 'surrounded by the mass of legs and laden shopping bags, she's pushed and jostled back and forth as if an old rag doll'. The ending an amazing surprise! Excellent! 10 love Karin (Report) Reply

  • Sandra Martyres (10/13/2009 4:41:00 AM)

    A truly touching piece Andrew - with a powerful message...everyone is too busy to even notice the poor child... (Report) Reply

  • Frank James Ryan Jr...fjr (10/13/2009 4:31:00 AM)

    Not the ending i expected, my friend...Powerful & beautifully sad. Excellent write, Andrew...One of the finer pieces i have read here i quite awhile...

    F j R
    <09> (Report) Reply

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