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Mary Harwell Sayler

The Middle-Aged Mother Goes Up, Up, Up
 In Iambic Pentameter With Champagne After

The pictures show me shivering -- silk
stripes of basic colors as a backdrop
against the wind with a woven, wicker basket
as the only place for me to stand, appalled

at the thought of going up in a balloon.
No doubt, hot air had talked me into this
adventure, first depicted by cold terror
and cold wind, drifting from the Arizona

desert where we'd come for a vacation
then rose with bursts of heat beside my ear
and my nose frozen and my hands tightly
gripped in fear -- so afraid of letting go

the familiar landscape of ground beneath my feet,
I could hardly stand to breathe as we floated
over pavement: parked cars and parking lots
where I feared we'd fall into the asphalt

and last be seen on a ten o'clock newscast.
I gasped as we dipped, low, over rooftops;
winced at the startling blast of fire to lift
us exorbitantly higher than the animal --

shaped mountains; sighed at the sudden, swift
sight of a slow stream sounding somewhat
like heaven with nothing below me but, oooh,
the most breathtaking view! And then, I flew.

©2008 by Mary Harwell Sayler

Mary Harwell Sayler has had 25 books of fiction and nonfiction and hundreds of poems accepted by a variety of publishers, including Kalliope, which published the above poem in their Vol. XXIV, #1, 2002 issue. She judges poetry each year for the national competition sponsored by and offers numerous helps for poets and writers on her Web site.

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