Yesterday I reached into my little copper pot where I keep tiny cards with writing prompts and drew out this one:
The man with the dandelion in his lapel . . .
Hmm - left me blank for a minute so I went into the kitchen to tidy things up. Suddenly I got an image and grabbed an envelope out of the wastepaper basket and here's what I wrote:
What? can't read my scribble? Try this:
The man with a dandelion in his lapel . . . had a big smile for everyone as he hawked his brightly colored balloons at the children's fair. But the smile was painted on and was part of the clown costume he wore. As he bent to gently tie the ribbon of a balloon to a little girl's wrist, I saw a tear roll down his cheek and wondered why. The girl's mother must have seen it too because, avoiding eye contact, she quickly said, "Thank you," and hurried her toddler off.
What was his story? Why was the man with the dandelion in his lapel and a big smile painted on his face so sad? I wanted to know, because his gentleness with the child and his tear had touched me. But I must have communicated my feelings somehow, for when I glanced back at him, he met my eyes with eyes that had seen some great sorrow and shook his head, while the real mouth inside the painted one quivered slightly. So I nodded in acceptance and turned to go. After a few steps though, I had to turn back. He was watching me, so I blew him a kiss and quickly walked away.
What do you think?