Opening Night

It’s opening night and I’ve lost my lunch more than once.
The dress fits just a bit snug.
My skin, clammy and pale under the bright lights.
The curtains rise and here I am
Belting out in A minor that I want so much more than what life has offered.
The hours pass until the crowd stands and request the first encore.
Each bold range, octave and cord pleads for recognition
And begs for you to know
What unfolds before you is more than the opening nights show.
Even when the tears begin to stream and I say I have to leave
You stand again, applauding and throw roses at my feet.
Are you not aware that these scenes depict my own sorrow and weeping?

Opening night the rehearsed chorus will come across my lips like a birds song.
The flower atop my braided hair is turning a little bit brown.
And my lipstick is smudged but not enough to notice.
The curtains rise and I know they wont see
This is more than a performance
I am begging them to hear me.
I sing of degrading acts and life in squalor, in the cold and in naked, barren land.
Yet it is discounted simply as Act One.
I’ve performed this song in halls with ceilings made for kings
I’ve performed on street corners, in alleys and in every dead end town
They even know the chorus but the meaning is lost in acoustic theater sound.
I’ve done my bit. I’ve played my part just the way they like.
My disappointed tears stream to the hard wooden floor
Soaking up the mix of baby’s breath and thorns
Like those collected on stages I’ve played before.

I want someone to know that this is more than a show.
I keep telling of suffering, toiling and a spirit that has fallen to its knees.
There isn’t anyone really listening.
So I’ll put on the dress that fits a little snug
I’ll stand under those bright lights
And I’ll be the fat lady that sings.
It’s only opening night in this swanky town,
But there will be many more rose pedal endings.

Copyright © F. Magdalene

Opening Night

Faith Magdalene Austin

Indianapolis, United States

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  • Leon A.  Walker
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