My Role in the World

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If all the world is a stage:

Then I must be a bard.
Whispering sweet echoes
of words that never meant anything,
a fictional story from deceitful lips.
A promised tale of a forbidden kiss,
a song of glass shattered in cold white loss.
The quiet cooled, the coin my cost.
The whole world an audience
with clapping hands
or perhaps with scorn
for they don’t understand.
And scowls profaning cheeks
with soft pink blush,
shouting obscenities
that make me flush.

Then I must be an actress
with a painted face.
A smile, and tears
that I cannot erase.
A gown of gold, a crown of silver
in my hair,
and audience below me
without a care.
With other thoughts in mind
than who I really am.
Only eyes for the girl
that I must pretend.
And eyes for the man
that I do not love,
but the character I play
is written to must.

Then I must sing
with a sheltered voice.
Tempered too sharp,
feet without poise.
Words that mean less
than they do to me.
Because my audience
is too blind to see.
Heart on heart, I stand,
pouring out my soul;
if all the world’s a stage
then I must have no role.

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