It Broadens The Mind

Anna Kahn's second poetry contribution pulls us back to a childhood memory of hope and travel


by Anna Kahn 

On a day before Recycling or The Environment
happened school gave each of us a helium balloon
and an address tag. I don’t remember why I didn’t

have my coat when we launched them. We weren’t
allowed to stare after them as long as I’d have liked
even coatless on a cold day. Becky’s went furthest,

to China. Mine only went to Russia – fourth furthest – but I think
it stayed afloat the longest. All of the winners were from my class
or Becky’s. The older children were bewildered – it seemed

unlikely that Year 2 of all people had been best at choosing
which piece of wind to stand under. I’m still nagged by thoughts
of those kids who did not hear any word back from their balloons.

Anna Kahn | @AnnaCarlaKahn

Anna Kahn is a corporate copyeditor and one of the 2015–16 Barbican Young Poets. She lives with three cats and one human. She’s performed all over the South of England and her poetry has been published in print and online, most recently on Blue of Noon and in the forthcoming Spoken Word London 2015–16 anthology.