Red Balloon

February 9, 2012
Wake up!
I’m talking to you, the nameless, the faceless,
those people you don’t see in the light of day.
They’re often mistaken for the shadows of other people
who somehow have two. They think to themselves, you don’t care.
And you’re right, I don’t.
I don’t care if you're a boy who loves a boy or a girl who doesn't.
I don’t care if you cry
in movies rather than lie
and act tough. I don’t care.

You think it’s so easy, letting go of life like a red balloon
into the sky when really life ends with the


Once you let go we can’t get it back though we run along the rooftops trying to catch it.

Catch what? Love, beauty, truth? Please.
That’s something you can’t find in the numbers of a phone booth.
The shouts of truth are smothered by the honks of
shiny red cars and cacophony of quiet mumbles of people trying to get by.
You might lose your voice and your screams grow hoarse and strained, but don’t stop
shouting at the deaf women on stilts so stiff from the
poison in their smiles.

There’s so much to see in the bright sun of the day
though the stars are too dim to remind you of why you have to get through the night
to see the sun. Sometimes a shooting star goes by and I wish I could hitchhike on the tail
and burn only for a moment then bail
on this world so set on living long.
But I don’t want to ditch before class ends I might miss something important
for the test later on.

What do you want from me?
A face, I can draw you one,
a name, I can write you one,
but I can’t make you see.
If I have to build you a house of mirrors I would
if then you would see yourself from all angles.
Because then you might hold on to that red balloon.

Join the Discussion

This article has 13 comments. Post your own now!

pandagirl312 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 17, 2012 at 4:12 pm
I like the comparison used throughout of the red balloon. Maybe throw it in there even a few more times? I think the repitition would help improve it. :)
IamtheshyStargirl said...
Mar. 1, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Wow Liz, this is incredible :) You did a wonderful job. 

Have you ever seen the old movie "the red balloon"?

savetheplanet replied...
Mar. 1, 2012 at 8:23 pm
No, what is it about?  And thank you! :)
Aderes47 replied...
Mar. 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm
It's so funny- In HN English, we are reading Romeo and Juilet, the real Shakespeare stuff. It's so funny- the teenagers act the same way we do, the same inappropriate jokes are made, the same stuff you hear in rap songs. Just goes to show how nothing has changed. :)
Aderes47 replied...
Mar. 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm
I know that's random. :)
savetheplanet replied...
Mar. 2, 2012 at 7:46 pm
Very random.  I love Shakespeare with a passion.  Promise me after reading Romeo and Juliet you'll watch the movie Shakepeare in Love with the actor Joseph Fiennes starring as Shakespeare.  IT'S SO GOOD :D
Aderes47 replied...
Mar. 2, 2012 at 10:10 pm

I will! :)

I love all movie recommendations. :)

In class, we watched the first act of both the old and new Romeo and Juilet movies. I like the newer one better just because it's funnier. 

Romeo and Juilet is hilarious. :)

savetheplanet replied...
Mar. 2, 2012 at 10:19 pm

So yeah, you should definitely watch it.  I'm gradually working my way through the works of Shakespeare.  I've read Romeo and Juliet, Midsummer's Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, The Tempest and we're going to read Julius Ceasar in English this year.


The other author I'm a huge fan of is Jane Austen.  Have you read anything by her?

Aderes47 replied...
Mar. 3, 2012 at 9:12 am
I've read Pride and Prejuidice a long time ago, I actually kinda liked it. :)
savetheplanet replied...
Mar. 3, 2012 at 10:45 am
Pride and Prejudice is my favorite but I've read a few of her others.  She's one of the other authors I'm slowly working my way through.
Aderes47 said...
Feb. 29, 2012 at 7:58 pm

So true. ;)

People should never give up on themselves, cause one day they might find true beauty! 

What a great poem! It's just so awesome! 

Happy to be the first commentator! :) 

savetheplanet replied...
Feb. 29, 2012 at 8:08 pm
Indeed you are.  And thanks again!  I always appreciate comments.  And it's so true.  I have a friend who gets very depressed sometimes so he indirectly inspired this even though I was writing it for people in general.
Aderes47 replied...
Feb. 29, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Hopefully it's just inbalanced teenage hormones and nothing real serious! ;)

But if it's really bad, like bullying, he should seek help. 

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