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The Stage

The curtain opened. We were all in place. This is what we'd practiced for.
We knew what would happen. It was always the same. We weren't ourselves anymore.
We were their selves. They were us. Each one knew what was in store.

I had no choice. I went along. I said my line and was done.
Out for the act. A means to an end. But now, that was hardly fun.
Could I cut someone off? Could I do this my way? Could I sabotage and not run?

I thought on it. I thought it bad. A thought that I wasn't to share.
But then I thought more. After all, I had time. I wasn't involved then and there.
I still wanted my turn. My time in the light. Would anyone really care?

Of course they would. They're still intact. Controlling their others with ease.
But that ease was not theirs. 'Twas born of control. Guises fell under much varity.
Then I noticed something. There were none in the seats. The actors were all you could see.

Showing for showmen. Did they know it was so? Had anyone bothered a glance?
Someone changed his part. They got along fine. I needed no second chance.
I took my turn. I got that light. I was unfaltering in my stance.

But then I near fell over. I'd tripped on a cable. I pulled it clear out of the wall.
I tried to keep going. There was no light. Again tripped, I started to fall.
I headed offstage. The short hard way, that is. I was cushioned by one who'd seen all.

I was surprised. I thought he was gone. Away like all the rest.
He'd seen the whole thing. Beginning to end. He offered not one single jest.
He saw in the dark. The others did not. I rested my head on his chest.

He let me cry. The lights were still out. They'd seen me fall, those now blind.
He didn't care. No one saw him. He let scenery push him behind.
I'd forgotten he watches. Never misses a show. Always looks out for my kind.

They didn't care. Nor did they learn. They jostled and pushed to be seen.
I walked away. I had learned. The lights were just too bright for me.
They only got worse. I stayed in the dark. The script was mine; it was enough.

Elyse Yeager


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