Friday, October 7, 2022

Balloon Animal CIrcus

I think the prompt from was actually Balloon Circus Animals, but once I had Balloon Animal Circus in my head, that was it.

Sad little man,

Bowler hat and glasses,

Plaid button up shirt,

Loudly telling another story,

Hoping for the validation

of another laugh.

It's a balloon animal circus.

Red, green, orange, and yellow.

A giraffe with three fat legs

and one droopy one,

An elephant with a deflated trunk,

bumping into people

as it is pulled

through the crowd.

It's a horror show


Bopping, popping, floating, dragging.

Children laughing, crying, talking, screaming.

Strings tied to wrists,

Strings trailing in the air,

Strings drifting amidst 

Popcorn, ice cream, slushies,

Blue, red, and purple painted lips and tongues.

A circus, 

intentional and not.

Sad little man,

With memories of trash cans and steel lockers,

Getting caught, fighting back.

Threats, fights, and fear.

Sad, scrappy little man,

Loud because he had to be.

Funny because he discovered jokes

could make him friends,

diffuse  situations,

maybe even win a girl.

Balloon animal circus.

Twisted shapes.

Adding color

to the day.

Before it's time to go.

Drift away,

Get thrown away.

Sad little man,

Walking with purpose 

Shuffling strides

Works a couple of odd jobs

to help the days go by.

His wife understands

or maybe she doesn’t.

Let’s him have his work and hobbies

without her having to be involved.

Balloon animal circus.

at the zoo.

Children getting louder,

I want a dog

There are no dogs at the zoo.

There were dogs at the circus

doing tricks,

parading with braided hair,

wearing jeweled collars and vests.

What color?

What size?


and Big.

Sad little man smiles.

That’s all he ever wanted,

To be big.

Too big to be dropped in a trash can 

the first day of high school

Big enough to be seen,

Big enough to play sports,

Big enough to be listened to without having to

tell a joke or shout.

Big and mostly happy

instead of little and mostly sad,

He smiles,

His laugh lines appear,

His eyes twinkle as skin crinkles.

For a moment,

he thinks about

who he is

and who he hoped to be.

He's no longer as sad as that high school freshman,

But he's still a storyteller,

For a laugh.