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ONE ACTOR, MANY PLAYS

I am hollow, just another empty shell.
No heart beats quick the rhythm of my days.
Time’s run out of stories he can tell

With happy endings, pretending all is well
When well has waned, and all that’s left says
I am hollow. Just another empty shell

Once filled with love, but slowly forced to sell
The good and light. Love goes, but sorrow stays.
Time’s run out of stories he can tell

With different endings. Cast another spell—
Reveal the truth, the hundred different ways
I am hollow, just another empty shell.

Tell those stories loud, and tell them well.
No one hears the hollow soul that prays.
Time’s run out of stories he can tell

Without an end. The curtain never fell;
I never bowed: one actor, many plays.
I am hollow, just another empty shell.
Time’s run out of stories he can tell.

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I Play My Part…So Do You

IN STORIES SPUN

You tell your tale; I hear your cries.
A me that I don’t recognize
Takes center stage to crush your soul.
You’ve cast me in the villain’s role.

I wait for you to dry your tears
And question me about those years.
Probe the spaces in-between,
Perhaps rewrite those painful scenes.

But you need time to heal your grief.
My silence offers no relief.
I hear, but don’t apologize.
Your story’s true, yet full of lies.

I’m just an actor in your play,
A character with lines to say,
A frozen singularity,
One version of the fuller me.

And so it is with all our tales—
Our search for truth so often fails,
As tight we cling to what we know,
Confusing star and cameo.

We spin our tales and cast the leads,
Assigning roles to meet the needs
Of plots devised around our pain—
Performances all preordained.

I’m not the me you hold inside,
My life reduced and simplified.
Forced to wear your painted mask.
No answers sought, no questions asked.

Each of us constructs anew
The other from our point of view,
Just characters who play a part
In stories spun from mind, not heart.