Prompt – Lost & Found

Lost and found, like a box under the desk at the office, full of children’s coats and mittens, all unmatched of course. Like the woman who sists there, her legs tucked under the desk that hides the box. She is the gaurdian of lost things. When a child comes in, like with his mother standing annoyed and impatient behind him, but also with that look I am teaching you a lesson here, the woman, the guardian takes out the box, reaching down past her pantyhosed legs to her boxy, comfortable shoes. She takes out the box and goes through it with the boy. What color did you say that hat was, hon? Red? Is this it? Often she was the reuniter. Often she bore the sad news.
Maybe you left it on the bus? You could ask your bus driver. Which do your ride? The Thumpuer bus? Well, you ask Mrs. Peters, dear. Maybe she’s seen it.
And, always, the child looked dejected. Even if they refused to wear the hat which is why it was lost as the mother reminds him as they leave the office.
Carol is always sad after these encounters. She wants to run after the boy, take his soft, warm hand in hers and say: Child, you will lose many things. There will not always be a box to come looking in. Hold tight to the things that matter.
But the mothers are there, their impatient, efficient heels clicking down the hallway.
Instead, Carol pulls out her calendar and flips the pages backwards and tries to remember what she’s misplaced.

Oct. 30, Alida’s Friday morning workshop

One Response to “Prompt – Lost & Found”
  1. Alida says:

    Oh, I love this. I love how absolutely seriously Carol takes her responsibility and each child's distress. I love the contrast between her attitude and the mothers': Theirs is all disapproval and frustration and 'I told you…' Hers is 'How can we find what broke your heart?' and 'Hold tight to the things that matter.' So moving and so beautiful.

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