Monday, March 2, 2015

The World's a Stage

The Opossum Takes a Bow

The actor's actor
I've been called
by hungry critics
quite enthralled
at how I drop and
seem quite dead,
then rise again
and live instead.

I've learned to act
and not to run
or turn and fight
the stronger one.
I've found it often
more than smart
to act, pretend,
to play a part

even if the part's
a corpse.
Soon predators
grow very hoarse:
They growl and bark
and plead to know
if I'm deceased
or breathing slow,

if what they sniff
is living stuff
and not some old thing
dry and tough.
I close my eyes
and lie so still
apparently quite
more than ill,

until I'm sure
my enemy
has wandered off
to scratch a flea.
Once more I've died
and lived again,
a part not written
with a pen,

a play no famous
writer wrote
with lines no handsome
actor spoke.
When someone says
the word "Opossum"
he thinks of something
odd, not awesome,

though what is stranger
than to sleep
while foreign noses
make their sweep,
then wake up new
and bright and fresh,
a soul still living
in the flesh?

by Nels Hanson
in Volume 3 Issue 1

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