Poetry
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Doors And Sardines

The theater me was tucked away
And life was in a flow
Till my friend Lee asked me one day
To come and a do a show
(And though I know to just say, “No”
I said, “Alright! Let’s go!”)

We started with a read-through
Though casting wasn’t done
Then wondered, “What did Lee do?”
For he’d merged two scripts to one
(And understating what he’d done
Let’s say the fun had just begun)

Rehearsals went as rehearsals go
Despite the summer stress
We blocked and walked a half-cast show
And improvised the rest
(And I suggest the Monday dress
Was the technical more or less)

The sound appeared on opening night
The set the day before
And magically the show was tight
(That is—after the Wharp Tour)
Through damaged doors and floating floors
And scores and scores of scrapes and sores

With bags and boxes, doors and words
Sardines and US—you know
The timing taut, the jokes absurd
We had a funny show
(Though, as shows go, no one would know
Attendance was so-so to low)

But those who came enjoyed the play—
At least those still alive
There was, of course, the matinee
Which I’ve donned The “Dying” Dive
(Though we strive and strive to make jokes jive
We can’t revive those ninety-five)—

And after that the crowds were great
They laughed! They clapped! They stood!
They giggled from the starting gate
They actually understood!
(Could it finally be that we’d withstood
The would-be should-be goods?)

We’d reached the promised encore
For which we’d worked so long
That funny fated fervor
When everything goes wrong
The throngs and songs and going-ons
That we’d longed for all along

And though I’m utterly exhausted
And my yard’s a total mess
And I vaguely remember a wife and kids
Before I told Lee, “Yes”
I must confess I can’t repress
The thespian within my breast

So with closing night upon us
As we do our final show
I feel I must be honest
I’m glad to see it go
But still I know the tears will flow
When going leads to gone—you know?