Saturday, June 3, 2017

What Will Your Verse Be?

The graduate glances around the gym, looking for faces.
                A classmate catches his eye.
She smiles, pointing to her cap
                                                she tilts her head.

Stenciled in white on the black cap, “What will your verse be?”
She was quoting Mr. K, quoting a movie
where another Mr. K, quotes a poem.
                He chuckles at the layered attribution.

...a line tickles in his brain…
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.
...the lesson for the class….
a metaphor, life being the play
                                                [pause for effect, eye contact]
“What will your verse be?”
                “Was that Mr K from the movie or the class that asked?”

The question, like him, took a seat and listened.
                Then it tapped him on the shoulder and whispered.
The girl, sitting not far, felt the words trickle from her cap,
drip into her veins, infuse in her blood.

“What will your verse be?”
                Echoes in their thoughts,
others stepped on stage,
                not the usual speakers... but visions…

Each say, My verse will be…
the soldier
                                                ...a click, me jumping, tackling my buddy from harm…
                                the nurse
                                                ...the hand I hold, saying it’s alright, I am here…
                                the mom
                                       got it, I’m letting go of the bike. Woohoo, look at you…
                                the dad
                                                ...uh, yeah, that dress. You look...beautiful...grown up…
                                the cop
                                                …drying a tear. Passing a stick of gum. We’ll find your 
                                the fireman
                                                ...into the blaze, up the stairs, Let’s get you out of here….
                                the cancer patient
                                       I wear bold lipstick, wear pink, and walk proud…
                                the artist
                                                ...inspired by life, capturing the moment of true peace…

“What will your verse be?”

                ...the question, like the graduation cap, had hit him again
during the celebratory rainfall of tassels and thunder of cheers.
And with a smile, he gives it back to her.
In that moment, as both hands touch the words,
                they see Mr. K, a sparkle in his eye,
                                and his verse in their powerful play.