"Here I am!"
(the story of my life)
I shout into the emptiness -
Trying to find my inner voice.
Spoken words cracking with distress;
Swallowing hard, I have no choice.
Pacing the floor behind the threatening podium;
All eyes, ears bent, sitting expectantly on edge.
The glaring light pointing accusingly at me.
Summoning the lion I step forward, and pause
Restless, rustling of paper, the audience waits.
White Knuckling the top of the comforting podium -
Jump starting my words with a familiar thought.
"Four score and seven years ago our forefathers . . . ."
Words already spoken from a worthier frame.
Waiting, restlessly the audience begins to rustle.
Snake-charmed swaying in front of the restricting podium-
"Oh captain, my captain, our fearful trip is done."
My words lost, standing in the shadow of past works,
An echoing finale for a fizzled speech.
Rustling wait of an audience long restless.
My shoulders slumping in defeat,
grasping for words that were not there,
pedantic trod of dragging feet,
given the chance, but could not share.
by Marvin Kimmel