A red balloon sailing
through patchwork skies
whisked my brother’s young feet
from the fairground. Day bled
to twilight before a cop found him
mangled in a ditch by the highway.
After the funeral, my Dutch au pair
led me down to our basement
and laughed when I told her
I’d never played baseball. Later
we snuck my father’s rifle
out to the train yards, and she
showed me how creamy breasts
of pigeons turn crimson, and
how nothing seems more alive
than in that moment
before it isn’t.
Ryan Stone writes after midnight. His short fiction and poetry have appeared in publications including Algebra of Owls, Eunoia Review, The Drabble and Silver Birch Press and won prizes in a number of competitions at venues including Grindstone, Writer Advice, Goodreads, Writers’ Forum Magazine and Poetry Nook. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.