We recently published Alexandra M. Matthew’s soaring “The Balloon Retriever.”

Here, we ask her two questions about her story:

1) So. A balloon park! A balloon park! What would it be like, do you think, to visit a balloon park?

To me a balloon park sounds magical, but also a bit absurd. It would have to be much smaller than your average theme park, since I expect it would be difficult to keep so many balloons inflated for days at a time. Though with a little imagination, it might feel like you were floating through the exhibits. And I think visitors of all ages would have the overwhelming urge to pop the balloons. I know I would.

2) I like the connection here between the balloon girl and the lost baby from the Balloon Retriever’s high school pregnancy — do you think the Balloon Retriever sees the parallel herself? Or is she only looking ahead?

I do think the Balloon Retriever sees that parallel in the end. I’m not sure she’s able to unpack it just yet, but I believe the process of building—and maybe rescuing—the Balloon Girl pushed her a good deal closer.