Poem: The Nervous First

as she enters the bright stage
the spotlight hits her hard.
she feels trapped as in a lit up cage
with people staring from the dark,

and all she wants is to escape.


applause and excited mumble
never reach her ear,
still sheltered in her bubble,
she begs God to take her fear;

is no answer from above evidence of trouble?


she tightly clings to a piece of paper,
words she wrote to read out later,
but when she looks down to remember
the letters blur as her hand’s atremble

uncontrollably like a stranger’s.


losing grip, she lifts her head
to find faces that she loves
but the faces in the crowd seem dead,
masks with names she doesn’t know

waiting for the words unsaid.

who are they and who is she
to be standing there?
another white mask with no name
as far as she’s aware;

so many to reach, so much to teach
with words she doesn’t dare to share.


her legs are shaking, heart is racing.
and as she listens to those sounds,
she takes a deep breath and learns to feel
what rhythm’s all about;

thud-thud, thud-thud, thud-thud.


the first word slips her mouth,
she gives in to the flow
of powerful syllables
lined up in a row;

lines she had known all along.


and suddenly she recognizes
friends before the stage,
all with smiles so satisfied,
encouraging to be brave.

and she’s relieved to see
that, in the end, she got it right
– finally!




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