The Season’s First Balloon Launch

by Marta Ferguson


This—at the cross-stitch, I must be reminded—

is where I place my right foot. Here,

at the tops of the lines—I need no

coaching now—is where I place my hands.

Here, the feet planted roughly in ballet’s

third position, the hips canted slightly out,

is how I pit my weight against the envelope’s

billowing mass. Here is how I pull the mouth

more open, capture the updraft from the fan,

here is how to pull in place, to balance the front

brass plate over the scoop’s red fabric tag.


And now—a reminder again, pilot will signal—

is when I step away and let the burner,

which I feel already on my bare arms

and face, fill the remaining space with

the same air, only warmer, larger.

Now, is when it rises to stand

above the basket to which I move

to place my weight again, all this

effort a means of harnessing

greater forces, working them,

not in dominion, but in partnership,

for lift and buoyancy, for flight.


M FergusonMarta Ferguson is the co-editor of Drawn to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Books (Minor Arcana Press, 2014) and the author of Mustang Sally Pays Her Debt to Wilson Pickett (Main Street Rag, 2005). She is the sole proprietor of Wordhound Writing & Editing Services, LLC (


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s