A Song for Actors

The original intention, which I hope to yet see through, is to have three sonnets under the collective title “For Old Friends and Ghosts of Friends.” As sonnets involve considerable work in refining of meter, rhyme and language and editing to 14 lines (140 syllables,) I am presenting the first theme  in colored prose (though I’m calling it a song, because I can) in hopes that verse will follow after the three “songs” are complete.  The second song “For Singers” is written and will be published once the third song is written and being revised.

– J.S.S

For Actors

We were actors once sharing the stage. Delivering lines and hitting our marks through comedy and tragedy. When the curtain fell and the lights went out, I returned my props to the table and checked the script for the next act; your name was not there. I turned and looked, but you were gone and the stage was set again and the show must go on. I stepped out on the stage with strange faces and gave all I could muster while wondering: if I had seen the script before and known you were leaving would I have drawn out that last scene a bit longer, or changed the words to try to keep you in the play for another act?


I happened by that old theatre once. In my mind the boards of the stage we had shared were dull and worn, the curtains falling and moth eaten and cobwebs hung from the lights and rigging. But new actors were performing a new play, not unlike ours in our time, but different enough. The set looked much like it had so long ago, but the costumes had changed. The costumes and the actors, that is all. To see it in use, and so different than my imagination, was bittersweet. It seems the building should have fallen when our show ended, or at least the box office locked.


From the balcony, I have seen bits of your new play, and it pleases me that you are still on stage. I watched actors that were in our show come out and do a scene with you and I want to stand up and join in. I want to yell a line from the balcony and hope that by recognition of my voice you and they are warmed and bid me to join the cast. But I do not because I must not. This is not our show; our show is done. And though I would like to think that I could join with old cast mates to stomp across the boards again I must accept that I would only be acting with ghosts on a cinema screen.


I think now, if I had known that our show was at its end, I think I would have left the script unchanged; I think I would have delivered the lines as written and not dragged out the ending. It was right the way it was written. I would have let you go just the same, but I would have known it was time to tell you goodbye.


2 Responses to “A Song for Actors”

  1. What a creative venture–looking forward to reading the end result, though this is good reading as is. Do you hope to publish somewhere in addition to your blog?

    • As a writer I would say I would like to one day publish other than a blog. As a realist, I would not use the word “hope” but push it back further to “dream.” Regardless, I would have to assemble a larger body of something that I would think was worth shopping around. For most of what I write, my small blog audience is plenty for me and I am happy to have them.

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