Haibun Today
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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Editor
Volume 5, Number 4, December 2011



Carol Pearce-Worthington
New York City, New York, USA

 

Summer Stock

           for Jacques

restringing
the beaded curtain
. . . luck be a lady

Curtain time. In the huge night sky, heat lightning flashes. We wait backstage for our cues. The overture starts, the audience quiets. Our playbooks have been studied wrinkled worn and set aside.

One should always have something sensational to read on the train.

We bunk in cabins. A nearby lake is too big to see across. There is only now. Sometimes we forget we are pretending.

Why would anyone want to get over the one thing you hope for from the minute you're born and remember until the day you die?

We shape emptiness. We create moments. Nobody knows us.

Take me back. Up the hill. To my grave.

After dinner, someone plays piano while an intern adjusts the dimmer board.

Luck if you've ever been a lady to begin with . . .

Water tossed at a young Helen Keller hits a woman in the front row. SHE KNOWS! SHE KNOWS!

A new play opens every week. The night wind turns cool; it seeps through the log cabins. Poison ivy blooms around the stairs. White caps form on the lake.

What the devil was he doing on board that boat?

The audience, that blur in the dark space, watches, breathes, applauds, until the final spotlights dim, the house lights rise, and summer ends. We knew it would, but still we are all surprised.

blue moon
on the wane
. . . encore encore

The audience sighs, stands, before it, too, braves the summer dark. Specks of headlights turn to stars before they disappear on the highway.

We're free and clear, Willie. Free and clear.

in the dust motes
worlds float
through winter

end

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