As I opened the dumpster
to empty the week’s trash, birthday balloons rose
to greet me, as if bonded to the lid,
charged with anticipation.
I scrambled to shut them down
yet they kept rising, obedient to unseen forces
brazen they squirmed toward
the black open air.
How vast the continuum of emotions
permissible each moment on earth.
A Ukrainian couple proclaims their vowels
while dressed in army fatigues,
flower petals decend upon the same ground
pierced each night with metal-cased shells.
Shirtless boys giggle while dribbling a ball
across the dusty floor of refugee camps.
A celebration for being alive,
a witness to one more orbit,
even with the hurt, the bitterness,
the weight we carry.