The Mic is Open

18 Apr

I speak
one word into the microphone,
amplified, catching the light
on my face.
In my mind’s eye,
I see you from the stage
although
I’ve made no commitment
to be there. I am not
standing there now, although
the mic is open.
My words are slippery,
not ready to be seen.
I am not ready
to be seen. But
it isn’t what you think,
this not quite readiness,
this

finding my voice
like so many before me,
like me before
me. It isn’t what I think
either.

What is it that keeps me
glued to my seat,
ducking my head when you say –
Get her up there.
She knows how to talk in the mic.

I grew up on the stage.
Of course I know how.
That isn’t the point.
For me, standing up there would be
like
falling off a log.

Yet that was a different life
I led with lights in my eye,
my voice booming
to the back of the room,
a life before
motherhood, before
owning a home,
before dogs.
I’ve never been good
at divided attention.
Is that it?

I don’t feel fear.
I don’t know
what I feel.

It’s just that,
upon coming home
tonight, after
hearing you all on the mic,
after watching faces, supporting
my friend whose story was superb,
I feel relieved
to be home with dogs
who lick my hands, and my Honey
who places the computer
on our dining room table
just like I asked –
to help me not wake her
when I come in late
and still want to write a poem.

* * * * *

National Poetry Writing Month
30 poems in 30 days

* * * * *

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4 Responses to “The Mic is Open”

  1. joyre65 April 19, 2016 at 12:18 pm #

    I love this poem. It also answers some of the questions I ask you about performing that you don’t always have answers for.

    • RoiAnn April 19, 2016 at 1:34 pm #

      Interesting! It’s one of those poems that took me more than I took it, and I’m not sure still where we (this poem and I) have landed. Thank you for sharing your story last night and getting me out of the house for creativity on a Monday night!

      Curious – which questions does this help answer?

      xoxo

      • joyre65 April 23, 2016 at 9:34 pm #

        It helps explain your ambivalence to performing; not really fully explaining it, but at least giving it a context and a place. At least in explaining that you are ambivalent about it and not avoiding a direct answer, if that makes sense. 😉

      • RoiAnn April 23, 2016 at 10:46 pm #

        all the sense in the world – thanks!

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