The Playhouse

Every show seventy beeswax candles
flicker and burn in the iron chandeliers.
The player’s breath writhes in the flames
a handful of minutes is all it takes
to tell the best and the worst of us
love and betrayal blazes in the eyes
of the crowd. They go home to their own
story, the players wipe their faces clean.
Alone on the darkening stage
a single figure lowers each chandelier
snuffs out the remaining light.

2 thoughts on “The Playhouse

  1. Robbie Burton

    Hi Fiona

    This is super, I especially like that final image in the last three lines. Great title too… it matches the way the poem speaks on at least two levels.. the immediate images of the playhouse and players, and the underlying human condition.

    A couple of small things… perhaps cut one or two definite articles? Just ‘chandeliers’ instead of ‘the chandeliers’? Maybe ‘each player’s breath’? ‘Love and betrayal being plural, ‘blaze’ instead of ‘blazes’? Not sure if the second sentence needs more punctuation?

    These are just finicky things… it’s a fab poem.

    1. Fiona Lesley Post author

      Thank you so much Robbie… and for the prompt.. i strayed quite a long way from St David’s day but it was interesting how the idea of candles and lighting them for the departed led me to the playhouse.. Finicky is V useful, thank you, amending now!

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