Recurring Dream

I’m in the wings, downstage right,
opening night. Old proscenium stage,
heavy dark curtains. Invisible
on the other side a full house, expectant,
sound waves like surf on a pebble beach
swelling, ebbing, swelling. Dust,
sweat.

House lights fade to black.
Silence.

Someone comes up behind me. Who?
I can’t see. Sudden adrenalin — every hackle
shivers alert. Oh, Christ. What’s my first line?
Who am I? Fumbling for costume cues, my hands
sweep my body, meet naked flesh.
What show is this?

Dark curtains open on a growl.
Behind me, urgent, someone hisses
Go! Go! pushes me on stage. Lights up.

Janet Barkhouse

About Janet Barkhouse

Janet Barkhouse attended the National Theatre School of Canada as a teen, and acted professionally (ACTRA, CAEA) for more than a decade before moving to Nova Scotia's South Shore where she lives and writes. Her debut book of poems, Salt Fires (Pottersfield, 2018), follows on publications in journals and anthologies, two chapbooks, and several children's books. She may be reached through janetbarkhouse.mywriting.network. Photo credit: Nicola Davison

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