Sleight of Hand

Quick, look over there
Good, you missed my sleight of hand
This act is getting stale
And the audience is on to me
Time to pack up the tricks
In their old worn cases
Take off the threadbare costume
Patched over the years with lies
Wipe off the garish stage makeup
That steady simulation of a smile
It served me well for a time
Covering the gross inadequacies
Keeping everyone at a safe distance
No volunteers required here
To perpetuate the illusions on the stage
And now for the grand finale
Before I skulk off into the night
Flash, boom, crash
Spectacular pyrotechnics
And when the smoke clears
I’m gone

Header Image by LMoonlight

Everything is the last

I’m getting to the point now where everything I do is “the last” one I will do in America. My last Super Bowl, my last spring, seeing my doctor and dentist for the last time. I’m probably down to my final three hair appointments before we leave. You might remember that my stylist was also the one who encouraged me to write before I started.

So far, I haven’t been feeling the pangs of sorrow for these “lasts” until this weekend. I’m in the last season of shows at the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia. It’s the oldest continuously operating theater in the entire country, founded in 1809. I’ve had season tickets for the past 15 years with two of my girlfriends. There are 2 more shows to go and that will be the last for me. They will find someone to take my place next year.

As I stood at the counter of the gift shop in the theater lobby on Sunday, buying myself a little something by which to remember the theater, I actually welled up with tears. I have loved this place, loved these shows, Broadway productions: the singing, the dancing and the serious plays. Andrew Lloyd Webber, Cole Porter, Noel Coward, Oscar Wild, Arthur Miller, Rogers and Hammerstein and Lin Manuel Miranda…

I hope I find a new theater in Galway. I’m sure I will. And I hope I get as attached as I am to the Walnut.

Photos courtesy Philadelphia NBC 10, Neals Paper, and The Delco Times.

The Last Scene

A poem by Meg Sorick

It’s a tired old story played on a broken down stage
Second rate performances by a third rate cast
When the end is no grand finale
The last scene concludes
With the actors running out of script
The stage lights dim as they stare
At the orchestra abandoning the pit
While a single, slow clap of applause
Echoes in the darkened theater

Header image: The Uptown Theater ~ Photo by Hidden City Philadelphia