I’ll cast a smudge on a plaster wall,
chin down with a flat brim to hide under.
I’ll dwell on hands and frets, my black suit
blending me to backstage,
not like that dancer
with yards of white taffeta
too bulky for her grip,
paused at a tilt
or the sideliners swaying
from the waist up, clapping overhead
till it’s their turn to turn an ankle
in a swoop of orange.
I will sit in shadow and let my ears
brim with riffled chords.
The light that lifts the gathers of skirts
will set me in soot.
Sarah Carleton writes, edits, plays the banjo and raises her son in Tampa, Florida. Her poems have appeared in Houseboat, Burning Word Literary Journal, Avatar Review, Poetry Quarterly, The Bijou Poetry Review, Off the Coast, Shark Reef, Wild Violet Magazine, The Binnacle, The Homestead Review, Cider Press Review and Nimrod. She also has work upcoming in Silver Birch and Chattahoochee Review.
This poem was written as part of the 20 Poem Challenge.
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