The Quieting of an Audience




In my seat in the still lit

Auditorium, I hear around me

Fragments of conversation

From others who have come

For this show: “I swore I’d

Never go back there,”


“I enjoyed seeing my

Grandchildren this past week,”

“I’m so excited that she

Got the part,”

And so on for five minutes,

A convivial hubbub permeates

The room, sounding like a

Wave gathering and ebbing

On a sandy shore.

The lights blink, once, twice, three times,

And those standing find their seats,

And conversations finish, women

Straighten in their seats, and men’

Look at their programs

One last time and

As the lights dim to darkness

Silence, creeps across these

Assembled souls

Awaiting song

Awaiting beauty

Awaiting a revelation

As the earlier sound

Diminishes past the point

Of hearing.

All is silent and then

Another kind of conversation


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