In an attic, cold I sit

Bare boards rub my skin as I move,

Rough grain is stark reality.

I try to escape;

Tie a ribbon round my neck

Restrain me

Keep me from my freedom with your gossamer chains.

In a chest, sealed with a lock to which I do not have the code

Is kept the warmth and joy I never know

Something I only hear through rumor – dreams and wishes.

On my attic wall there hangs

A measuring tape which is always too high,

Too tall for me to reach

To tear it down.

I hold onto my dear helium balloons

My precious objects of comfort, small and dull

Take me up, high up, over this gloom.

But I overshoot my mark

Strike the needle poised at the top,

Waiting patiently, concealed from my practiced naiveté.

I come crashing down again into the abyss

Back to my state of nature.

I wait for someone to wander in

Someone who perhaps is lost,

Lost as I am hopeless, aimless

To find me in my attic bare

Curled in a corner, lost in shadow

Hollow and frail from captivity,

And recall a long lost number

That happens to unlock my chest.

I'll feel the hidden warmth at last,

That fictional euphoria reserved for VIPs,

What I had begun to doubt existed,

And float away on drafts of air

Clutching tight my red balloons.