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Each Time the Curtain Rises
Edwin Romond

So much they can show us in the dark.
The house lights die and then
a young voice acting older, the girl
from my lit class steps like a fawn
into the light and becomes another
and I believe her as I believe
the mystery of roses in my yard
growing red in a May midnight.
How I love what I feel watching
students create other lives
on stage, caring so much about lines
they’ve pressed into their minds.
My tongue becomes cotton
when they sing, my feet twitch
through each dance and my soul
glows when they do well
what they’ve rehearsed for months
of afternoons and evenings.
And I’d like them to know
I’ve felt that strange pain
in the thrill of a curtain call, that ache
when something beautiful is over. But
joy can stay on the stage of memory
and in an adult tomorrow, they can
close their eyes and live again
the night they turned paper scripts
into living theater, the miracle
that can happen behind school footlights
each time the curtain rises.
From Alone with Love Songs (Grayson Books).
Used with the author’s permission.

Edwin Romond  is a poet, playwright, composer, and educator. Now retired, he taught English for more than 30 years in Wisconsin and New Jersey. Edwin's award-winning work has appeared in numerous literary journals, college text books and anthologies, and has been featured on National Public Radio. He maintains an active schedule of readings and presentations; check to see if he's appearing anywhere in your area. A native of Woodbridge, New Jersey, Edwin now lives in Wind Gap, Pennsylvania, with his wife and son.


Post New Comment:
What a lovely way to view your students, as they repeat that memory. Thanks.
Posted 04/28/2012 10:45 PM
This poem touches something essential--captures the heart of what teaching can make of us, what we make of the world.
Posted 04/28/2012 06:48 AM
Judith Heron:
And more than a teacher commending youth, you are a gladiator of hope. Oh, sing praises!
Posted 04/27/2012 03:13 PM
So very nice! As a teacher myself, I can really relate to the sentiments expressed here!
Posted 04/27/2012 02:04 PM
Bill White:
That's beautiful. Brings me right back to watching my son in school musicals.
Posted 04/27/2012 01:45 PM
A very powerful opening line and some beautiful, and beautifully expressed, insights. Thank you.
Posted 04/27/2012 10:25 AM
Janet Leahy:
It is such fun to watch students perform—"on the stage of memory," I love that line. Lots of good memories surface reading your poem, thanks.
Posted 04/27/2012 07:14 AM

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