Parrish sleeping childIf all the people are merely players
I would like to meet us all backstage
costumes off, props down
scripts dispensed with
and I would like to have a giant cast party
everyone invited to celebrate the show being over
curtain dropped, end of run, no more reviews

we could laugh about the slights of hand
pretense and illusions grand
the grandest
and the acting out—superb!!

we could warm up to one another
victims and evildoers could be lovers
delighting in each other’s actual presence
knowing exactly how the script pulled our strings
manipulating us to do outrageous things
on stage
for the audience’s cries and entertainment
we could thank the skies for covering the stage for our containment
upon which to depict every raw emotion under crimes, deceits
and split devotions
intrigues to captivate, horrify and amuse
all action prompted by none other than the director’s cues

knowing full well that what we have done was based upon
someone else’s notion
we would never choose to really participate in such obviously dire commotion
if it all were true

and if it were, we could never unify the entire cast
or have the drama enlighten us all at last
we could never congratulate all of us, with love
for making such a terrific show
or say:
good—you played the finest arrow
evil—you portrayed a most rigid bow
audience—you shook in your boots as they stood toe to toe”

we could never say it was fun to suspend disbelief
to perform the age-old tale of duality
we could never thank the author for such palpable grief
and say: “good job,” with relief
come on now, let’s all get back to reality!”

lurah into camera


excerpt: Speak of the Ghost: In the Name of Emotion Literacy
© Pamela Sackett
photos: Parrish Priest