Otto experienced triumph when words
pittered past his stilted tongue.
Each “thank you” exalted effort’s completion
propelling Otto’s lank form into twisted celebration.
As they toured the sheltered workshop,
one of those high school girls cringed
when Otto stretched out his gnarled hand
to greedily shake hers, and the
smiles faded in his eager blue eyes.
Otto experienced triumph when another girl
further back in line, shot smiles to his eyes
then firmly shook his hand.
Tobacco-peppered spittle dribbled
from his wide brown-toothed smile.
His other hand grabbed hers,
her other hand grabbed his,
engendering joy, Otto’s eyes shined.
The prompt at Writer's Island today is "triumph." From age 18-22 I worked with people like Otto. Their joy is palpable. The small act of shaking hands makes a difference for many people. Acknowledgement brings triumph.