Curtains go up on a scene
whose rear walls are shaking;
stagehands clear the background.
Spotlights on at the cast’s entrance.
I am your memory, he says,
and the back rows answer
with cheers and whistles. Heat
rises from our seats to the LEDs’
green flicker on the ceiling.
the script unravels, lines break
interrupted by adverts for bleach,
toothpaste, locally sourced colours.
The show flows until the speed
of a camera flash sets off a fire alarm.
Curtains down for emergency exit.
We push against tar-water dams,
open floodgates then move
to the front seats for a better view.
The theatre holds the roof up.
Every moment of terror begins like this.
It matches our lives so well,
It is us performing onstage.
© Maria Stadnicka, June 2020