2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 15

For today’s prompt, use the following five words in your poem: slash, button, mask, strap, and balloon. Use them in any order.

Here’s my attempt:


Clear the balconies and strap your masks on:
we have a poem to write slash poem–
to carry like a balloon or to wear
like a button for all others to see.



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370 thoughts on “2012 April PAD Challenge: Day 15

  1. Jane Shlensky

    The Name of the Game

    The local kids admired attitude,
    renaming themselves to assert
    the degree of toughness they felt
    they could attain and maintain,
    names that vaguely referred to
    a physical aspect or habit of
    each one. Slash, with a mouth
    like a paper cut, was sure
    to become the leader with
    his grandfather’s old WWII sword
    at work on neighborhood flowers
    and shrubs. The rest buttoned on
    their new identities as Strap, with his
    Father’s old belt snapped like a whip,
    and Mask, who had succeeded
    in frightening his own mother
    into a swoon at Halloween.
    They were a fearsome lot
    until the new kid, Balloon,
    huge, menacing, and oval,
    moved across the street.
    A fellow that can pull off that
    nickname cannot be trifled with.

  2. Nancy Posey

    Not sure where this one came from!


    The nightmare scenes roll in like film clips
    spliced without continuity: the balloon man
    with his grotesque mask, a frozen smile,

    the parachute lacking a release strap
    failing to unfurl, sending the dreamer
    plummeting down, the earth flying up,

    the black-gloved finger hovering just above
    the button set to detonate, setting waves
    of explosion across the strange terrain,

    the slashes found in curtains, in racks
    of prom gowns hung for resale, no sign
    of the malcontent wielding the knife. Then

    the sleeper wakes, shakes off the scale
    of sleep, and rises, washes all away
    with morning sunlight, a warm full mug.

  3. alotus_poetry

    A New Hero in Town

    Buttoning up his suit
    and carefully adjusting his cape,
    putting on his mask
    and strapping ten smiling
    helium balloons onto his legos-
    constructed Jokers,
    my 8-year-old nephew
    is ready for a long day
    of gobbling his birthday cake
    and slashing his villains
    with his cardboard sword
    while screaming across the backyard,
    “I AM BATMAN!” Oh, my hero. I’m sure
    it’s every mother’s dream
    to get birthday frosted kisses from the one
    who will save the world.

  4. Jane Shlensky

    Into the Fire

    What began as a cigarette
    butt soon resembled a slash
    and burn of a national park,
    flames running up trees
    driven by winds that ballooned
    the inferno from smoke towers
    to red fingers of heat pointing
    up toward planes dropping
    sand, water, and masked
    men buttoned into packs
    and harnesses, parachutes
    strapped on and waiting
    to release,
    lift briefly,
    and fall.

  5. Michael Grove

    Strap Yourself In

    Strap yourself in for a bumpy
    ride to the finish line. Slash
    your way thru the thicket
    that has grown up around you.
    Button your lip save for the
    battles that are worth fighting.
    Don’t let your problems
    balloon out of proportion
    or mask them such that
    you refuse seek solutions.

    By Michael Grove

  6. mlcastejon

    Our journey

    Everytime I come to you
    I do it open with no mask
    I slash my flesh to let you
    see me from the inside.
    I need you to know me
    there is no other way
    we are in this together.

    I follow you picking buttons up from the floor
    we’d better strap ourselves in and hold
    the baloon tight, our trip is about to start.

  7. Jannelee

    Her face a mask
    Impossible to read
    ebony hair, dark as
    the early morning gloom

    Blood red coat
    buttoned to her chin
    black leather boots
    that kiss her knees

    Velvet riding helmut
    strapped under her chin
    cruel whisper of the crop
    as it slashes the air

    Leather boots creaking
    voicing restless agitation
    back, forth and back again
    thru the carpet forest

    A card on a silver tray
    brought by cutaway butler
    shredded to hurled confetti
    a moment of red rage

    Silky shoulders slump
    like a deflated ballon
    then her arrogant chin lifts
    a fox smile on her lips

  8. De Jackson

    How to be Happy

                 this mask.
               your song.
                          to lapel.


  9. ina

    Just wanted to say I liked each of the poems above. A really creative bunch. Me? I’m tempted to say that the five words are a poem all by themselves – evocative – but that’s cheating, right? Back later

  10. PKP

    Here we come and there we go….
    (slash, button, mask, strap, and balloon)

    Oh the parade it was a starting high-step marching up The Street
    each wearing their bright button not a mask did one there meet
    In tambourined, tromboned, or sweet molasses strap
    Each individual created their own joined manner of applause filled clap
    As each alone or together – arms linked or leaning against a leafy tree
    Lifted eyes to the parade and to the sparkling sky where a glorious sight did see
    In the sun-shined slash that flooded luminous brilliant light through the darkest cloud
    floated the collective beyond-helium-high lyric filled balloon of the PA poeming crowd

    1. lionmother

      You made me laugh with this poem evoking past epochs you have written about us! Yes, you are right the collective works of all the PA group is like a balloon. You describe it so perfectly: “collective beyond-helium high lyric filled balloon”.

  11. Catherine Lee

    Grrr! Really hate to re-post, but here is the correct version…

    The Clown

    The happy white face
    Is betrayed by coal tears
    Slashed onto powdered skin
    By the steadiest of hands

    Gloved fingers mangle
    Pink balloons into eyeless
    Animals stretched into
    Long bodies twisted

    Rows of rainbow buttons
    Enclose every strap of truth
    From the silent man living
    Beneath a shroud of white

  12. Catherine Lee

    The Clown

    The happy white face
    Is betrayed two coal tears
    Slashed onto powdered skin
    By the steadiest of hands

    Gloved fingers mangle
    Pink balloons into eyeless
    Animals stretched into
    Long bodies twisted

    Rows of rainbow buttons
    Enclose every strap of truth
    From the silent man living
    Beneath a shroud of white

  13. dextrousdigits

    Renaissance Party
    It was the talk of our small town
    everyone was a stir about this event
    children and adults were tossing
    football size ideas around.

    Stepping into the hall,
    we were surrounded by Madrigal Minstrels creating a mood
    with guitars, violins and voices belting their songs
    followed by jesters in floppy hats sometimes juggling
    other times with bawdy jibs and jokes.

    Stepping into another world,
    where many neighbors were unrecognizable.
    Sedate, quite women with balloon size breasts
    exposed by low cut dresses and synched up waists
    laced between rows of buttons,
    sitting on the laps of local men in tunics and tights.
    Men walking around with bows and arrows in a pouch
    held on with a leather strap.
    A few queens, princesses, and kings with crowns
    caps, hats with feathers, tricorn hats and masks a plenty.
    Goblets of wine and beer in abundance
    dainty ladies and hard working farmers
    ravishing turkey drumsticks and each other.

    Many a young lad pranced around in colorful
    Musketeer tabards with crosses a fixed and
    swords swinging often as they passed one another
    they would engage in playful combat
    swords would slash and cut.
    If one was stabbed,
    obligingly he would fall to the ground
    and writhe in agony.

    Indeed it was quite an event
    with even more talk after the event than before.
    What I saw was that even people I thought I knew well,
    given the chance have hidden kernels
    waiting to blossom.

  14. Miss R.

    Lessons Learned

    I floated over my world serenely,
    Like a hot air balloon above the clouds,
    Oblivious to the approaching storm . . .
    With a slash a flash of cruel lightning
    Dashed the calm to frantic pieces,
    And my happiness hung like a thin strap
    Of burst rubber from my pocket.
    Ashamed of my jolly naivety,
    I buttoned my mouth and froze on a smile
    To mask my juvenile foolishness
    And the pain that it had caused me.

  15. Linda Voit


    I think I knew when she unbuttoned her shirt
    to wash it in the laundry shed out back
    that the guy with the mask
    strapped around his face
    was going to slash her.
    Balloon heads, pretty and full of air,
    are necessary in horror films
    so we can deal with the results.
    Obviously, we would not be stupid enough
    to go out in the dark in undies
    and a matching bra
    while we were babysitting.

    Linda Voit

    Linda Voit

    1. Brian Slusher

      SO recognizable–we do need those “balloon heads” to feel safe and superior. Very clever use of the words–all seem necessary and none stick out. MUCH applause!

      1. LCaramanna

        Garage Sale

        Followed the tips for success in the
        “How To Have a Profitable Garage Sale” book,
        bought for $5.00
        at the Dollar Store.

        Advertised in the newspaper classifieds,
        tied a gaily bobbing bright blue balloon to my mailbox
        to mark the site
        of bargains galore.

        Displayed treasures attractively in my garage,
        early birds swooped in,
        vultures attacking prey
        bargain hunters, nothing more.

        Pointing out every imperfection
        of the valuables
        at my garage sale
        discarded treasures, nothing more.

        Not one willing to pay a reasonable price
        for the goods upon my tables,
        shoppers’ assertive behavior
        impossible to ignore.

        Left shoe with a crack in the leather,
        Missing a button on this shirt,
        That mask without its feather,
        Toothless zipper on this skirt.

        A lamp without a shade,
        blue prom gown with a broken strap,
        working chainsaw – dull blade,
        baseball uniform without the cap.

        A CD Player missing earphones,
        Broken handled garden rakes,
        Princess Barbies without thrones,
        A bicycle with no brakes!

        The assault of the shoppers was relentless
        haggling prices,
        expecting discounts,
        until I could take no more

        Only one way to end this fiasco:
        Give it all away for free,
        slash prices by 100%
        and close my garage door.

  16. Brian Slusher


    Coiffed, polished, spray-tanned,
    sequined as though they’ve been
    rolled in sugar, buttonhole roses
    and one in a pure-white Sinatra
    swinger’s hat, they process
    wearing the mask of elegance
    to begin the spring rite: massed
    on the dance floor, they become
    something ballooning on a biology slide,
    an amoeba composed of grinding cells,
    flagellating arms, slashes of color
    and chemical heat. The straps start
    to fall, tux coats and stilettos are
    flung off the brink of decency
    and one barefoot girl bumps so
    fiercely to the beat her dress
    strains to contain her. When they
    finally spill disheveled into the
    midnight air, steam seems to rise
    from their skin, as though something
    costly has been unleashed, or freed,
    or maybe lost.

    1. Linda Voit

      I LOVE “sequined as though they’ve been rolled in sugar” . . . and the rest of it, too. You have SO captured this dance on the brink of innocence and coming of age. BRAVO!

  17. Joseph Harker

    Morning After

    Unbuttoned jeans, shirtsleeves undone.
    And one
    boot strap peeled down. A tailored fuss.
    Of “us”,
    no sign: the dawn-slash sunbeams care
    not. There,
    you’re masked with sleep, your body bare,
    used condom slipped like a spent balloon.
    I pull on shoes. You’ll wake up soon,
    and one of us– not there.

  18. Marianv

    The pillagers

    The mask of the devil
    Covered his face
    From behind it, his eyes
    Gleamed, beady and red
    The man and the woman could
    Not hide their fear.
    A heavy strap bound them
    Each to their chair
    He searched through their room
    Even under their bed. “There is
    No gold here, nothing, I swear”
    The masked man pointed to where
    They trembled. “Button your lips”
    He quietly said.
    “Nothing happened, do you understand?”
    A quick slash of his knife and they were free.
    A sudden noise, like the pop of a balloon
    Sent the man running out the door.
    Galloping horses – guardsmen gave chase
    And asked the old couple “Tell us, who
    Was here?” “It was the devil” they answered
    And watched in dismay
    As the guardsmen feasted on every bite
    That they had saved for their holiday.

  19. mich

    Now two months and seven thousand miles
    from sneak water-balloon attacks by his kids
    Hank tightens his helmet strap
    No need to hit the panic button
    Every night starts the same
    Insurgents no longer wearing the mask of friend
    Slash into secure territory
    Preferring perpetual conflict to mutual accord
    –Lyn Michaud

  20. Beth Rodgers

    When I read the prompt today, for some reason when I saw the word “balloon,” it made me think of the short French film “The Red Balloon”. I don’t know if anyone else has heard of this movie, but I remember watching it as a kid, and it was about a boy who is befriended by a red balloon, and it follows him around his neighborhood. That’s what I was thinking of when I wrote this poem — just to give you a little insight 🙂

    Throw caution to the wind and
    Embrace the red balloon.

    Without masking determination
    It slashes through barriers.

    So, strap yourself to imagination
    And press the “on” button to embrace youth
    Once more.

  21. Maurie

    Incredible Race

    A strapping young man went to town
    Face masked in perplexed frown
    His ballon been slashed
    All hopes now dashed
    Of winning the button shaped crown

  22. J.lynn Sheridan

    “June 6,1968”

    Mrs. Adams pinned the birthday button on Kevin K.’s shirt,
    pushing aside the balloon tied to his chair, chocolate cupcakes
    waited in a box on her desk, we inhaled in advance of the
    birthday song.

    A tapping at the door, she put up a finger to quiet the class.
    Principal Olson, peeked in wagging his finger at Mrs. Adams
    to meet him in the hall.

    No spit balls, no hair-pulling, just whispers and giggles.

    The door opened again. Mrs. Adams wearing a red-eyed mask,
    head down, quickly walked to the front of the class and said,
    Robert Kennedy.

    That’s all.

    Kevin W. made a slash across his throat with his hand.

    Mrs. Adams grabbed her purse and ran out of the room,
    black strap flapping against her hip.

  23. Charles Cote

    Since I’m behind, I decided to combine the last 4 challenges:

    Something Borrowed

    I’m broke and need to slash
    my cell and cable, save some
    cash, my credit shot.
    I’m strapped and can’t afford
    my car, my home, the payments
    due, ballooned beyond my means.
    I’m on the button, pushing in
    my stack and putting on
    my poker mask. It’s time
    to see the flop.

  24. RoseLeaf

    The Astonished Knight

    Determined, face set like a mask,
    the man fastened his last button,
    tightened the remaining strap,
    and stared down his final foe.
    With his sword raised ready
    to slash and stab,
    his courage firm,
    and his head high,
    he awaited the coming dragon.

    He staggered back,
    his mouth opened,
    his eyes wide–
    unable to believe this sight.
    For the speck had formed,
    not into a dragon–
    but a great ball,
    with his friend
    hanging underneath.

    “Hello!” His friend shouted.
    “How do you like my invention?
    I call it a balloon!”

  25. Jackie Casey

    Tanka (use: slash,button, mask, strap, balloon)

    “Move On!”

    Slash the wrist of fate
    Thus button down bright future.
    Rise in your balloon;
    travel where no straps hinder.
    Take the mask from off your soul.

  26. Imaginalchemy

    “Button and Balloon, the World’s Best Assassins”

    Button and Balloon were highly skilled assassins,
    The best in the world, the rumor spread ‘round.
    Button could slip silently through the smallest of holes,
    Balloon, quick and light, could not be held down.

    It was said they took out a whole rival gang
    With nothing more than a five-inch leather strap,
    Their knives were so sharp, that could slash through light
    They were the Cut-throat Kings, the Masters of Mishap

    Button in his coat hiding his daggers and secrets
    Balloon in a night-woven cloak and domino mask
    Were a formidable sight (if they allowed you to see them),
    They never failed when given a terrible task

    But in truth, it was rare that these hired killers
    Drew a knife or gun, to cease their prey’s breath.
    More often than not, all they did was give their names
    And their victims would laugh themselves to death.

    1. Rosangela

      Wow! This is downright creative! Your pieces are really, really good! (I’ve read your letter to Cheyenne, from King Wuggles! I just loved it! You rock!).

  27. competitivewriter

    She buttons her coat because its cold
    By the cross on the side of the Road
    Just outside of town

    She releases her guilt like a small
    Balloon that floats into the clouds
    Until it disappears

    She unleashes a sigh and with
    Tears in her eyes falls to her
    Knees to pray

    Like fingerprints of ghosts the scars
    On her forearm won’t let her forget
    The night she tried

    To slash her narrow wrists
    To drain away the pain
    Of a broken heart

    I kiss her arms now, they’re not ugly
    Just part of her story, part of everybody’s story
    In some way

    When she rises and smiles I know
    It’s genuine, not the mask she once
    Tried to hide behind

    And I’m okay as she walks away
    Because I know that she knows
    It wasn’t her fault

    I never buckled the strap and it
    Is a simple as that and now we can
    Both move on

  28. PassionateQuill

    (Daddy’s Girl)

    She stood motionless 
    Her navy wool coat buttoned
    Against the chill air that
    Slashed against her face, her heart
    As she watched her daddy’s fatigues 
    Disappear up the gangplank
    Her face mirrored the mask he wore
    Her small hand clinging tight
    To the strap of her red balloon
    Holding on with all her hope

  29. RJ Clarken


    Behind that mask he buttons on
    there lives a master talent drawn
    to songs and tales of Tennessee:
    the Phantom of Grand Ole’ Opry.

    If he’d just strap on his guitar
    he’d be a country super-star
    and fans would come…they’d flock to see
    the Phantom of Grand Ole’ Opry.

    Even axe-men, like Edge or Slash
    would venerate, like Johnny Cash,
    his world-class fretwork. They’d say he
    ‘s’the Phantom of Grand Ole’ Opry.

    So, send a message with balloon
    which says, “We want to hear a tune!
    You’ll be the next great honoree,
    O Phantom of Grand Ole’ Opry.”


    This was so not easy, Robert! You had to come up with a prompt that was all but impossible for the littel Kyrielle. But, I did it…even if it was pushing things a bit. Whew!

  30. RobHalpin

    Cobbling No More

    Manufacturing costs balloon
    while consumer spending drops.
    The hack and slash on my budget
    has me cash-strapped and forced
    into to desperate measures.
    The elves are done with buttons
    and thread and scissors and shoes.
    They now go out at night in masks
    and steal the gold from Leprechauns.

  31. Jane Beal - sanctuarypoet.net


    Button, button, who’s got the button?
    (It’s my grandmother’s voice, laughing
    on the other side of eternity
    reminding me of a game I never played.)

    Red balloon, bright red balloon, from a French film.
    (I remember it bobbing over cobblestone streets,
    maybe they were black and white,
    but the balloon was in color, and I felt so strongly
    that it was a heart alone in the sky.)

    Mask, masks on the wall, masks we never wear.
    (Why would we wear an African mask? Or
    a brightly painted porcelain mask? Or
    even my Mardi Gras mask when Lent is over?
    We have other masks we never take off.
    How could we wear two at once?)

    Slash, crash, burn, bash—it won’t last.
    (It’s a goblin song. Don’t you recognize it?
    They sang it to my cousin when she was
    cutting herself. But they have stopped
    their vile enchantment. Now she is expecting a baby.
    Her husband is feeding her tender grapes.
    A life of joy has begun.)

    I strap myself into an imaginary cockpit,
    the hot air balloon basket, and rise,
    looking down at that strange, miraculous landscape:
    memories like buttons in the distance.

    Jane Beal

  32. Mystical-Poet


    rugged winds etch a frontier face
    spinster masked by kindly tolerance
    soapberry trees guard a half-wild cemetery
    gravestones blooming in the shade
    symbolic nuances of ashes to dust
    resurgent dreams honed on straps of lost fog
    balloons filled with floozified laughter drift from town
    local flag slashed into gossip sewn quilt scraps
    dinner bell echoes a copper skillet sun
    whiffs of savory fricassee stymie homesickness
    waving fields and straw-filled button-eyed men saluting
    ‘neath a crop duster ride home

    ~ Randy Bell ~

  33. MiskMask

    Sorry! Wrong one. This one has all the words.


    An accidental
    quick level slash of the straps,
    and the balloon was aloft,
    escaping it raced
    for the bright side of the moon.
    A lingering pause,
    it casts a button shape mask
    across the ground below

  34. MiskMask


    An accidental
    quick level slash of the straps,
    and the balloon was aloft,
    escaping it raced
    for the bright side of the moon.
    A lingering pause,
    it casts a shadowy mask
    across the ground below

  35. Imaginalchemy

    “A Childhood Charm from the Pocket Junk Magician”

    1 button eye from a stuffed rabbit (a bear substitution will suffice)
    3 sequins and 3 feathers from a Halloween mask
    2 balloons (red works best, but blue will do in a pinch)
    1 strap of a friendship bracelet woven by a childhood best friend (no stealing!)
    1 small bag (like one used to hold jacks)
    1 generous slash* of chocolate milk

    The first four items into the bag should go
    And hang it above your bedroom or kitchen doorway
    So when you ever feel too grown up, you’ll always know
    Your childlike wonder is never too far away
    (Oh, and drink the chocolate milk. It’s good)

    *slash defined as “a large quantity of liquid, as in soup or broth”

  36. Connie Peters

    By Faith

    The problems of life pierce your soul
    Your enemies slash with vile hate
    You can submit to God’s control
    Relying on His love by faith

    It’s easy to step in a trap
    And swallow a hook with the bait
    So throw off temptation’s tight strap
    Relying on His love by faith

    Religion relies on a task
    Pretending that things are okay
    So take off the smile and the mask
    Relying on His love by faith

    Some folks try to button down truth
    And this becomes their sad mistake
    Instead of trusting in His proof
    Relying on His love by faith

    The Lord sings a beckoning tune
    He offers forgiveness and grace
    Hope floats like a hot-air balloon
    Relying on His love by faith

  37. Ber

    Glistening Sky

    As we drove along the dark road way
    In the still of the night
    Clouds hung low in the glistening sky
    Were we the only ones on this road alone?

    When all of a sudden my button popped out of my blouse
    Oh my I said to him
    I need to pull over to find it at once
    He said he would find it this was his response

    So he crouched himself over to my side to see
    When I then lost control of the car oh deary me
    With tear filled eyes how scared was I
    I had no other choice but to stop right now

    The tires had blown out
    The car just would go
    As we looked at the damage
    He stood up this man of mine
    He was wearing a mask

    What are you at I exclaimed to him
    Stop messing I don’t find this funny
    He didn’t mutter a word
    Just came at me with a knife
    He swung it high and low

    He began to slash the car
    He even caught himself
    This man I once new was a different person
    I had no clue

    I remembered looking to the sky
    Something went by
    He looked on too
    This stopped him in his evil actions
    It was an image of a balloon

    So as this passed by I locked myself in the car
    It grabbed his attention long enough for me to go far
    I turned the key to get away
    Oh please please work
    And so it did

    I drove off and as I looked back he disappeared into the night
    Like he was never there
    As I went up the road there was carnage everywhere
    It was like he had stopped me on purpose
    He pulled on seatbelt strap
    Only for this man I knew
    I would have been caught up in the accident and trapped

  38. Hannah


    becoming buoyant
    a balloon,
    only the string
    is slip/sliding from my grip
    as soon as I acknowledge it;
    strap to myself mentally
    an attitude of
    to certain outcomes,
    button-hole experiences
    as the good/bad
    in any given day
    as if one could really exist
    without the other,
    as if they’re not really both,
    one and the same
    the beauty in bad
    just a mask for mishandled

    © H.G. @ P.A. 4/15/12

    1. Imaginalchemy

      I love your views on life and how we live day to day…”button hole experiences” and “mask of mishandled joy” really stand out for me. Whenever I feel like my day has gotten too burdensome, all I need to do is read a Hannah poem and I can see the beauty in my day again 🙂

    2. lionmother

      I loved this “unmasking” of your thoughts! Very seamless use of the prompt words. I don’t get to comment on your poetry often, but I’m always enjoying it. There is a peace that flows from your words always.

  39. PowerUnit

    Dear Robert,

    I am not a fan of restrictive prompts
    that slash my options,
    button up my creative jacket,
    and mask my inner eye.

    Poets need to be free to fly,
    strap on a balloon
    and drift aimlessly
    into realms of metaphor and simile.

    I prefer government control
    over literary shackles,
    presidentiial dictates
    over poetic mistakes.

    Keep the lines open
    for minds with no boarders.
    Keep your heart free
    for a writer with no fee 🙁

    1. Hannah

      This is a great use of the words, PowerUnit! I found this challenge to be especially fun, stepping outside of one’s comfort zone can sometimes bring new realizations, too. Happy poeming to you!

        1. Hannah

          Oh, sorry, I knew that, I guess I was just speaking from my own stand-point today and sharing with you/picking on you 😉 because you happen to be by poem-neighbor today!! Ha ha

  40. Mariya Koleva

    🙂 there is no such place called “the Ances”:

    Walking the streets of the Ances
    I can smell the early city,
    The steaming heat of the markets,
    And wonder what happened to
    The early people coming to the place.

    Did they have to strap the masks of gods
    so all the natives worshipped them?
    Or did they slash the inside of a goat
    to produce that same effect?

    Were they capable of escaping
    The loving ardour of their fans?
    I find their crashed balloon
    In the jungle just outside the city.

    Running along the street of the Ances
    I’m happy to know I’ve a button
    Just push it –
    It magically sends me
    Away and beyond
    Lunacy’s fences.

  41. Marjory MT

    Button, button,
    where’s the button?
    Under the strap?
    Behind the mask?
    It flew away
    on a balloon to
    slash past records
    for button heights.

  42. Marjory MT

    How can we fix
    what has a slash,
    its button gone,
    a strap all mashed?

    Dad always said, use
    mask-ing tape and wire
    unless what’s broke
    is a balloon.

  43. Marjory MT

    Today we have a task
    so un-button your mask,
    Slash away all pretence
    put down your defence
    strap on a sunny day
    grab a balloon and float away.

  44. PowerUnit

    We hacked and slashed our way to the finals
    The road to The Cup
    A fractured leg, a concussion, and
    a goalie mask smashed by a high slap shot
    couldn’t stop us,
    let a lone slow us down.

    Was it worth it?
    Does the victory parade
    colored with buttons and balloons
    inscribed with
    we’re number one
    and a beat up silver cup
    make up for all the years of physical investment,
    all the mental currency
    spent to repair broken lives
    and lonely wives,
    and a life lived under lights
    and in papers?

    Damned right it does!


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