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On With The Show!

It is the night before the show.                                           

Dreams of tomorrow flutter through our minds-              

The ballerina twirls on her toe.                                           

The actor stumbles not once on his lines.

The singer’s voice soars high, then low.

 

The show-

It’s here now.

Now, it’s here.

 

The director paces

watching

waiting.

Pacing, pacing,

never ending.


The show-

it will start soon.

Very soon.


The director

pauses.

He looks over us-

sparkling costumes,

glittering jewelry,

powdered faces,

nervous

laughter.


“Remember,

the show must go on!”

He says,

his face a mask of grey

and blue.


“The show must go on!”

He cries,

and the drops of

silvery sweat

fall

from the sides of his

pale,

pale face.


We mumble.

Mutter.

Roll our eyes.

“Yes, yes,”

we say.

But we do not know

what

is coming.


The show-

it has begun.

It has started.

There is

no turning back.

Once

the curtains have opened,

they cannot be

closed

until the very,

very end.


We wait

for our turn.

Dreading it.

Wanting it.

Hiding backstage,

giggling

sweating

breathing.


But

something is wrong.

Terribly wrong.

“A disaster,”

someone says.


Boo’s from the crowd.

Backstage,

we can do

nothing

but watch silently,

trembling.


Fierce whispers.

Frightened glances.


Onstage,

the ballerina trips and falls.

The actor forgets to speak at all.

The singer’s voice is nothing but a hoarse call.

And even I find that my fingers stumble

over the strings of the guitar.


A disaster.


“Disgrace! Dishonor!”

The audience cries.

Their fists shake.

Their eyes are angry.


“Close the curtains!”

a voice yells.

The director stands

a defeated

man.


Once so proud.

Once so tall.

Now?

So frail.

Now so small.


The director turns.

The crowd roars.

The curtains begin to fall.


“Wait!” I yell.

They

turn towards me then.

Turn

with blank faces.

Tired eyes.

Tear-streaked cheeks.


I

gulp.

What have I done?


The right thing,

I know.

The director

glares

at me.

Red eyes.

Hopeless eyes.


I say

the first thing

that comes

to my mind:

“The show must go on!”


I stare

at the director.

Stare

into those wild eyes,

crazy

with desperation.

He roars

at me,

and that booming voice

becomes

just another

in the angry mob

that is our

audience.


I wince.

Brace myself

for the worst…

and find that,

for now

at least,

there is nothing

to fear.


For

I hear something.

A sound

I have never heard

before.


The director

laughs,

long and loud.

We stare

at him,

speechless.


“Who is this man?”

We say.

“Who is this stranger?”

The old director

is back.

 


There he stands.

A towering figure,

smiling

the innocent smile

of a mere

child.


“Yes.

Yes, the show must go on!”

He whispers

to me silently

and takes my hand

ever so gently.


I,

in turn,

take the hand

of the ballerina.

The one who tripped.

The one who fell.


She takes  hold

of the actor’s hand,

pudgy

and moist.


He takes the hand

of the singer,

who takes the hand of the musician,

who takes the hand of the rapper,

who takes the hand of the gymnast,

who takes the hand of the acrobat.


“On with the show!”

I cry.

And, as one,

we leap

onto

the stage.

It is the night before the show.                                           

Dreams of tomorrow flutter through our minds-              

The ballerina twirls on her toe.                                           

The actor stumbles not once on his lines.

The singer’s voice soars high, then low.

 

The show-

It’s here now.

Now, it’s here.

 

The director paces

watching

waiting.

Pacing, pacing,

never ending.


The show-

it will start soon.

Very soon.


The director

pauses.

He looks over us-

sparkling costumes,

glittering jewelry,

powdered faces,

nervous

laughter.


“Remember,

the show must go on!”

He says,

his face a mask of grey

and blue.


“The show must go on!”

He cries,

and the drops of

silvery sweat

fall

from the sides of his

pale,

pale face.


We mumble.

Mutter.

Roll our eyes.

“Yes, yes,”

we say.

But we do not know

what

is coming.


The show-

it has begun.

It has started.

There is

no turning back.

Once

the curtains have opened,

they cannot be

closed

until the very,

very end.


We wait

for our turn.

Dreading it.

Wanting it.

Hiding backstage,

giggling

sweating

breathing.


But

something is wrong.

Terribly wrong.

“A disaster,”

someone says.


Boo’s from the crowd.

Backstage,

we can do

nothing

but watch silently,

trembling.


Fierce whispers.

Frightened glances.


Onstage,

the ballerina trips and falls.

The actor forgets to speak at all.

The singer’s voice is nothing but a hoarse call.

And even I find that my fingers stumble

over the strings of the guitar.


A disaster.


“Disgrace! Dishonor!”

The audience cries.

Their fists shake.

Their eyes are angry.


“Close the curtains!”

a voice yells.

The director stands

a defeated

man.


Once so proud.

Once so tall.

Now?

So frail.

Now so small.


The director turns.

The crowd roars.

The curtains begin to fall.


“Wait!” I yell.

They

turn towards me then.

Turn

with blank faces.

Tired eyes.

Tear-streaked cheeks.


I

gulp.

What have I done?


The right thing,

I know.

The director

glares

at me.

Red eyes.

Hopeless eyes.


I say

the first thing

that comes

to my mind:

“The show must go on!”


I stare

at the director.

Stare

into those wild eyes,

crazy

with desperation.

He roars

at me,

and that booming voice

becomes

just another

in the angry mob

that is our

audience.


I wince.

Brace myself

for the worst…

and find that,

for now

at least,

there is nothing

to fear.


For

I hear something.

A sound

I have never heard

before.


The director

laughs,

long and loud.

We stare

at him,

speechless.


“Who is this man?”

We say.

“Who is this stranger?”

The old director

is back.

 


There he stands.

A towering figure,

smiling

the innocent smile

of a mere

child.


“Yes.

Yes, the show must go on!”

He whispers

to me silently

and takes my hand

ever so gently.


I,

in turn,

take the hand

of the ballerina.

The one who tripped.

The one who fell.


She takes  hold

of the actor’s hand,

pudgy

and moist.


He takes the hand

of the singer,

who takes the hand of the musician,

who takes the hand of the rapper,

who takes the hand of the gymnast,

who takes the hand of the acrobat.


“On with the show!”

I cry.

And, as one,

we leap

onto

the stage.

It is the night before the show.                                           

Dreams of tomorrow flutter through our minds-              

The ballerina twirls on her toe.                                           

The actor stumbles not once on his lines.

The singer’s voice soars high, then low.

 

The show-

It’s here now.

Now, it’s here.

 

The director paces

watching

waiting.

Pacing, pacing,

never ending.


The show-

it will start soon.

Very soon.


The director

pauses.

He looks over us-

sparkling costumes,

glittering jewelry,

powdered faces,

nervous

laughter.


“Remember,

the show must go on!”

He says,

his face a mask of grey

and blue.


“The show must go on!”

He cries,

and the drops of

silvery sweat

fall

from the sides of his

pale,

pale face.


We mumble.

Mutter.

Roll our eyes.

“Yes, yes,”

we say.

But we do not know

what

is coming.


The show-

it has begun.

It has started.

There is

no turning back.

Once

the curtains have opened,

they cannot be

closed

until the very,

very end.


We wait

for our turn.

Dreading it.

Wanting it.

Hiding backstage,

giggling

sweating

breathing.


But

something is wrong.

Terribly wrong.

“A disaster,”

someone says.


Boo’s from the crowd.

Backstage,

we can do

nothing

but watch silently,

trembling.


Fierce whispers.

Frightened glances.


Onstage,

the ballerina trips and falls.

The actor forgets to speak at all.

The singer’s voice is nothing but a hoarse call.

And even I find that my fingers stumble

over the strings of the guitar.


A disaster.


“Disgrace! Dishonor!”

The audience cries.

Their fists shake.

Their eyes are angry.


“Close the curtains!”

a voice yells.

The director stands

a defeated

man.


Once so proud.

Once so tall.

Now?

So frail.

Now so small.


The director turns.

The crowd roars.

The curtains begin to fall.


“Wait!” I yell.

They

turn towards me then.

Turn

with blank faces.

Tired eyes.

Tear-streaked cheeks.


I

gulp.

What have I done?


The right thing,

I know.

The director

glares

at me.

Red eyes.

Hopeless eyes.


I say

the first thing

that comes

to my mind:

“The show must go on!”


I stare

at the director.

Stare

into those wild eyes,

crazy

with desperation.

He roars

at me,

and that booming voice

becomes

just another

in the angry mob

that is our

audience.


I wince.

Brace myself

for the worst…

and find that,

for now

at least,

there is nothing

to fear.


For

I hear something.

A sound

I have never heard

before.


The director

laughs,

long and loud.

We stare

at him,

speechless.


“Who is this man?”

We say.

“Who is this stranger?”

The old director

is back.

 


There he stands.

A towering figure,

smiling

the innocent smile

of a mere

child.


“Yes.

Yes, the show must go on!”

He whispers

to me silently

and takes my hand

ever so gently.


I,

in turn,

take the hand

of the ballerina.

The one who tripped.

The one who fell.


She takes  hold

of the actor’s hand,

pudgy

and moist.


He takes the hand

of the singer,

who takes the hand of the musician,

who takes the hand of the rapper,

who takes the hand of the gymnast,

who takes the hand of the acrobat.


“On with the show!”

I cry.

And, as one,

we leap

onto

the stage.




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