Shawn McAllister

Rookie (January 22,1944 / San Antonio, Texas)

Opening Night - Poem by Shawn McAllister

Opening night, butterflies are floating
the crowd anticipating, and backstage waiting

Tell me, Saint Genesius,
what ghost you send tonight
to fill my heart with laughter—
to stock my mind with fire!
And tell me, Saint Genesius,
what performance shall I give
to hear the thunder of applause
from within these silent chambers?

The stage is bare,
lamps dark and gelled;
the grid creaks its deserted chant;
all the while somewhere in the rafters,
amidst the array of Lekos and Fresnels,
hangs the spirit of the centuries.

The sounds
multiply, like echoes in a hollow;
footsteps in the wings;
“Places! ” –then—

A deadly silence;
the stage is lit
as the traveler makes its way
to rest behind the portal,
and there am I, centerstage,
before a hollow house filled with ages.

My performance must begin;
so tell me, Saint Genesius,
what immortal cry
must I give
to pacify the stillness?

On opening night
I await the anxious moment,
thunderous applause
or quiet crowdly murmurs
once final curtains fall
and last bows have been taken.
Will it keep mankind awake
and the burning stagelights lit,
or simply dim another nightlight
on an empty stage?

Comments about Opening Night by Shawn McAllister

There is no comment submitted by members..

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poem Submitted: Sunday, August 17, 2008

Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]