Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)
I always wanted a red balloon,
It only cost a dime;
But Ma said it was risky,
They broke so quickly,
she didn't have time,
And even if she did, she didn't
Think they were worth a dime.
We lived on a farm and I
To one circus and fair,
And all the balloons I ever saw were there:
There were yellow ones and blue ones,
the kind I liked the best
Were the red, and I don't see why
She couldn't have stopped and said
That maybe I could
have one -
But she didn't - I suppose that now
You can buy them anywhere,
And that they still sell red ones
circuses and fairs.
I got a little money saved;
I got a lot of time,
I got no one to tell me how to spend my dime;
of balloons - but somehow
There's something died inside of me,
And I don't want one now.
The Sorry Hostess
She said she was sorry the weather was bad
The night that she asked us to dine;
And she really appeared inexpressibly sad
she had hoped 'twould be fine.
She was sorry to hear that my wife had a cold,
And she almost shed tears over that,
how sorry she was, she most feelingly told,
That the steam wasn't on in the flat.
She was sorry she hadn't asked others to come,
She might just as well have had eight;
She said she was downcast and terribly
Because her dear husband was late.
She apologized then for the home she was in,
For the state of the rugs and
For the children who made such a horrible din,
And then for the squeak in the stairs.
When the dinner began she apologized twice
For the olives, because they were small;
She was certain the celery, too, wasn't
And the soup didn't suit her at all.
She was sorry she couldn't get whitefish instead
Of the trout that the
But she hoped that we'd manage somehow to be fed,
Though her dinner was not what she meant.
She spoke her regrets for the salad, and then
Explained she was really much hurt,
And begged both our pardons again and
For serving a skimpy dessert.
She was sorry for this and sorry for that,
Though there really was nothing to
But I thought to myself as I put on my hat,
Perhaps she is sorry we came.