The Supporting Actress Gets Stage Fright


Pay no attention to that man in the chair

his horse is parked in the garage
rusted shoes nailed to the roof
for good luck. Good luck swinging

the old cowboy up and out of recline–
surgeon’s dusty trail having sliced the wind
right from John Wayne. He’ll grunt and moan

before he draws that pistol.
No need to be frightened.
Little lady, this is a movie

the blue sky is a painting
the shallow breathing is a soundtrack.
Stuff those jitters in your bonnet and learn your lines.


After a brief hiatus, wherein the mother/poet ferried the children to the mountain for some rain fun, the poet/mother has 5 mornings to herself, wherein she will continue on her quest to write scintillating poems about superheroes (or pop culture heroes in chaps).


2 responses »

  1. No need to be frightened.
    Little lady, this is a movie

    i like how that expresses the detachment of the narrator.

    i *think* i know the impetus for this and so it’s especially powerful. (it could work for our watching someone die prompt, yes?)

    my inclination is to say key the reader in a little bit more on the backstory, but that may actually spoil it. hmmm …

  2. Thanks, man! I was wondering about that very thing. Whether to give backstory or not, to reveal too much is always a concern. I usually avoid it, especially with “sensitive” subjects, in an effort to avoid sentimentality. But, I also hate poems that leave you wondering too much. The “huh?” poems.

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