Heart's wonder tugging At a thin string's end, Small fist curled round Its first precarious try At language: Balloon, you cry,
Balloon! Call up the word, Sound's careless, arcane magic, Enclosing worlds Inside its colored skin, Of flight held in And running moon, And sun swimming high In its morning bath Of joy, and all the earth Bluegreen with newness--
Small hand, hold fast To what is good, Your speechless cry Of pain and want:
This membrane, speech, It breaks too soon; A small red world Has done its worst Past all undoing And rueful recall:
One new balloon is all It takes, To free or burst The bright, betraying splendor Of the Word.
Source: A Habit of Shores, ed. Gemino H. Abad (University of the Philippines Press, 1999)