Woman in a Green Room, by Robert Berény, 1927

The Scene in One Corner of a Green Room
by Paulette Demers Turco

She’s preparing for her stage debut,
the play’s performers audible from here.
She’s dressed in black, beside an onyx vase,
(its black curves seem to form her mirrored pair)
set on a table cloth shaped like her skirt,
its legs at angles matching hers, her chair.

Her head bowed low, her hair a chestnut hue,
blend her in more, but she can’t disappear
just when her studied lines may make her case.
Her agent says, “Dear, this will be your year.”
She knows she’ll never be an extrovert,
but dreams of roles like this. She has a flair,

can follow the director’s guide on cue,
respond to tragedy–a subtle stare
into a vacant space, her body, face,
relaying her unsteadiness, her fear–
become her character, no more inert.
Before the audience, she will. She'll dare.


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