Shy Cloud

At the story hour, eager Julian volunteers first
to stand up in front of all the children
and be a cloud. 

Samantha, Tess and Brandon join him.
All the seated children are Wind
pushing breath through juicy puckered lips.

Three Clouds shake the tissue paper I’ve given them
fluttering up down sideways like fluffy cumuli
racing cross a clear blue sky.

But Julian presses his tissue paper hard against his chest. 
“Why isn’t your cloud moving, Julian?”  He clears
his throat.  “Well….I’m feeling a little shy.” 

All the mothers in the back row chuckle.
“That’s all right, Julian.”  I want to comfort him
for bravery.  For standing up first,

then admitting sudden fear.  “Every sky,”
I inform the group, “has room
for shy clouds that do not move.”


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