My Mother Was a Circus Clown
by Nancy Stohlman
When she kissed me goodnight she left smudges of white paint on my cheeks. When I tried to ask her a question she was inside a box—a wall left, right, above, oh my! When I came home from school she was painting pink eyebrows on her forehead. When I tried to hug her she squirted me with a rubber flower or knocked herself unconscious with a rubber sledgehammer or blew confetti out of a trumpet.
It’s because her parents never let her see live music when she was growing up, my father explained. It was against their religion or something. She vowed to become a clown if they didn’t let her see Elvis when he came through town back in ‘76.
My mother nodded, miming a tear sliding down her cheek with her gloved hand.
Read all about Flash: The International Short Short Story Magazine here
(DENVER: Watch me read this and other clown-related stories from my forthcoming book, Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities on Sept 30 at Hampden Hall, Denver, as part of the 100, 000 Poets for Change grand finale event. I will be accompanied by the genuis of composer Nick Busheff!)