Sand Castle Balloon


It looks like sand has filled that balloon;
tried to preserve the ancient castle
but moats laid siege so it was lifted away.
Rouge, rounded it flew distant, a once and future joy.

The court jester has little to laugh at
in presence of such a sight.
Bells once sounding bright are broken;
the drawbridge may lay down today.

The Queen will do her hair-
golden, threaded, unaging-
as she looks out upon the crimson tide.
‘Our royal blood’, she will smile.

The children pack their pails,
shovels, towels, umbrellas.
Accessories to a fleeting innocence
and purveyors of a lost civilization.

One lifeguard on duty;
his eyes are not on the drowning
but the girls in polka dots and lotion,
the SPF of memory.

The ozone height or perhaps
the ocean tide. Take your pick.
Either brings about the end of castles
or far drifted fairytales.

-B.W. Gladney


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