Hour Fifteen, Yes Prompt

Sister Act

I love to sing the blues,
but few will ever hear me.

As a senior in high school
I prepared for months
for my school’s annual talent show,
determined I would sing Sister
from The Color Purple.

The day for auditions finally came,
the dress, hair, stage makeup,
voice exercises, music tape,
all ready, prepared,
as prepared as my terrified
heart could be.

I stepped on stage,
cued the music,
and listened, horrified, when
it began too loud.
I sang anyway, sang
as loud as I could.

Halfway through the third line,
the music stopped,
and a voice from the dark said
“I’m sorry, we just can’t hear you,”
and I ran from the stage, mortified.

One judge followed me,
both a teacher and a friend,
and begged me to come back
and try again.

I would not.

I don’t believe anything would have come
from singing for me but the pleasure
of it alone, but
I will forever regret not returning
to that stage,
not trying once again.



2 thoughts on “Hour Fifteen, Yes Prompt

    1. You know, it’s funny you mention that. In a weird way, I did get resolution at one point, but consciously chose not to include that here. About a year ago, a friend from high school shared a memory of me practicing for this performance in front of the choir room mirrors after class and how much she enjoyed it. So in a way, I did have an audience after all, just never knew until 33 years later. It felt like the poem would be too “pat” if I’d included that, even though it was true.

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