The Yellow Balloon

On Rosh Hashanah morn

in the middle of prayer

my eyes drifted upward and beheld

a yellow balloon

attached to the ceiling of the hall,

a remnant of past festivities,

now somewhat limp and wrinkled.

A fitting metaphor, I thought,

for thus are we in the Days of Awe—

Deflated of importance

and held to heaven by a slender string.

Keith Tornheim, September 23, 2006