Patti Masterman

Reading A Poem Out Loud - Poem by Patti Masterman

When I have to read one of my poems out loud
My voice can suddenly go missing, disappear to somewhere invisible;
To my ears it almost sounds like the voice of another, who's reading-
Not that it takes time to pack a suitcase, or buy a ticket anywhere;
It's not going that far, not as far as yesterday,
Nor as distant as tomorrow.

And if there's an audible failure of the syllables, now and then,
It's because the voice of someone else is not easy to control;
The volume and tone, the vibrato, and that sound of stifled tears;
It's only the frustration of trying to speak out loud, with an entirely different voice

And of having to speak to an unknown future, that's floating in irresolute space;
One that echoes back with each word, a vast silence of held breath;
Like a stadium of ghosts, full of prickling eyes and ears, all tuned on me-

It's going to take a lot of practice to get the tone right,
And to make the lips and tongue get in sync
With all that unleashed emotion.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 30, 2010

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