Patricia Wallace Jones


by Chris O’Carroll

(Epithalamion for A & N)

Now that they’ve pitched the tent, installed the set,
Memorized their lines, made up their faces,
Costumed themselves, heard the call to places,
The players might pause: Are they ready yet?
Profound and passionate in their rehearsals,
They’ve brought all the resources of their hearts
To bear on learning how to live these parts.
They’re primed for all the triumphs and reversals.
Yet they know, knowledge tasting of stage fright,
That all their dedicated preparation
Gives way to something like improvisation
Once the lights come up on opening night.
Cue their best hopes. Cue legs broken and vows un.
Cue tears. Cue laughter. Cue a long, fruitful run.

Chris O’Carroll is a writer, actor, and comedian. His poems have appeared (or are forthcoming) in The Barefoot Muse, Iambs & Trochees, Measure, Umbrella, and other print and online journals.