Two Years And Ten Days by Julian Edge

 from a story of Karo and Blake

 

you have to hold on to it
I said
if you let it go, it’ll fly away
yes, yes, he understood
he would hold on to it
 
he held the ribbon tight in his fist
all the way home to our front door
we were happy
 
then he saw what I had done
I had tied the end of the ribbon to his buggy
he was furious
I must untie it, I must untie it, I must untie it
 
if I untie it and you let go, it really will fly away
it’s not like inside
yes, yes, he understood
he would hold on to it
 
I untied it
he let go
it flew away
 
he twisted round in his seat
balloon, please?
no, I can’t, it’s gone
balloon, please?
it’s gone, my love
balloon, please? balloon, please? balloon, please?
 
he calmed down
more quickly than I had feared
we had dinner
he slept
 
that night
he woke himself
crying and shouting
balloon, please? balloon, please? balloon, please?
I calmed him
he slept
I didn’t
 
What trauma was he going through
in that dream of learning?
(how) can I (not) protect him?
 
this story needs a last line