Homemade Joy

Light, fleeting, a helium balloon

Joy wobbled, bright green on a string

Floated away, waving in the wind

Higher than anything.


“I need your help!” I told my neighbors

People stumbling to and fro

“Let’s grab it! Jump! Lift me up on your shoulders!

Bring it down with a gun or a bow!”


Reaching and climbing on one another

Scrambling, clawing, sweating

Our fingers would brush the string of the balloon called Joy

But elusive, away it’d go jetting


Why is this so impossible?

Why is Joy so high?

So far, so rebellious

Floating into the cloudy blue sky?


Then suddenly, down the asphalt came

Light tapping of shoes, merry and bright

Smile cracking wrinkles on either eye

Holding something round, smooth, and full of light


“That’s Joy! How’d you get one?

Ours is still floating away

Where did yours come from?

Have you had that all day?”


Twinkling grin, arms strong

He held bright green Joy

But it was not made of helium, nor did it escape

The picture perfect happy boy


“You all are fighting for

A community feeling you have to hold together

Thinking if not all grasp the string

Then no one can have this fleeting feather.


Reliant on each other’s emotions

As if joy comes from the external

But I manufacture my own Joy

Mine is internal.”


How? When my focus is on the group’s balloon?

How to have my own glowing ball?

An orb that comes from my own heart

No matter the feeling of all


I pray my Joy exists deep and glowing

Even if everything around me breaks

If the world crumbles and falls into the sea

God’s Joy inside no one takes.




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