Ever see one of these before?
McDaid tossed me a hard plug,
weightier than the ignorance
I’d attached like a water balloon
to the phrase “rubber bullet.”
It’s January now, but winter and summer
I keep coming across these balloons
flashing colors like visual noise
in the marshes, and in pine groves
that trap their sheen.
Bobbing and nodding, candy-apple red,
this one is metallic, tangled and raising
its black-and-white eyeballs to high heaven
from thickets surrounding the kettle pond.
It couldn’t shatter a kneecap or femur
like the ordnance on McDaid’s kitchen table.
Set free to advertise some birthday boy
important enough to inflict his name
and shiny future on a south-facing
arrangement of water and trees,
this time of year this balloon
may never get to strangle a turtle,
let alone get sucked down
the blowhole of a dolphin.