2019 American Place Poems

The Show Must Go On

Not one echo
In the empty
Open hall.
Plush crushed
Seats Un-touched
Perfect planks
Of stretched oak
Reflecting no wave
Absorbing no steps
Overarched with
ornate gold
Reaching over red
Velvet curtains
Pulled tight
Lights out
Dim luminance
Shadow of a
Need to be
Something more.

Crisp spring
Air, stifled
Indoors with
Full house.
Entourage in
Crushed velvet
Seats, the color
Of sons lost on
Grassy fields
Now remembered
By a return
To normal.
Candle soot
Caked ceiling
Of embellishments
Suffocating on
The exhaled breath
Of the crowd
As they gasp, from
Wooden planks
Vibrating with
The sounds
Of treason.
”The president is dead!”

Upon first inhalation
You smell the
History of a
Place in history
Like church
Or the museum
Hardwood sweat
Tar and varnish
Of time in the
Old velvet Seats
On the stage floor.
Time has not
Forgotten what
Has happened here.
A hundred years
have passed and
We still feel the
Loss of one
April night.
We are gathered here
To breathe in
History and
Experience the present.

When a place
Is alive with
The sound of
Music, theater
Or poetry, every
Timber reverberates
With the memory
Of it. Ghost
Hunters spend the
Night hoping to
Read the energy
Of violence or
Perhaps the
Inhalation of
Hundreds of years
Of performances.
One tragedy for
For a nation
To remember
In one place
That exists now
Saved by the
Of the past
And proffered by
A show that must
Go on.

By Makar

Stephen Sutherlin is a designer, poet and musician. He writes poetry about life in the southwest and enjoys metrical lyricism.

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