Stacie McCall Whitaker - Stone Coast, Maine

Monody for a Leading Man

Written By: Beatriz F. Fernandez

I must admit,
there’s still a part of me
that lives for the lights,
the hum of violins warming,
flutes trilling in the orchestra pit,
the hush behind the curtain on opening night,
parquet creaking beneath my slippered feet,
squeak of satin, powder scent, fresh face paint,
players’ eyes sparkling as they bustle backstage—

Tonight, I’m back to see a play at the grand old place
and hearing your name mentioned, by chance,
I heard of your early exit— three years gone.
Three years gone and I never knew—

That last night when I watched the backstage crowd
swarm you, raucous laughter raining down like roses—
your shoulders shook from their slapping hands,
and you smiled at me over the din,
your big white boyish grin,
I waved but made no move to reach you.

Tonight as the final velvet falls,
your face gazes back at me from its dark folds—
I’m three years older than you’ll ever be—

Life’s gone easy on me, I can’t complain,
but when I remember how the air brightened
between us that night, our eyes meeting, holding—
what—now, I guess I’ll never know or miss—
sometimes I think I’d trade it all
for that one breathless moment
we stood together alone
in spite of the crowd, the noise,
my cowardice.

About the Author

Beatriz Fernandez - Poet - Monody for a Leading Man

Beatriz F. Fernandez is the author of Shining from a Different Firmament (Finishing Line Press), which she presented at the Miami Book Fair International last year. She has read her poetry on WLRN, South Florida’s NPR news station and was the grand prize winner of the 2nd Annual Writer’s Digest poetry award. Her work was recently chosen to be part of the Arte Latino Now 2017 exhibit at Queens University in Charlotte. Recent credits include: The Copperfield Review, Falling Star Magazine (2014 Pushcart Nomination), FLARE: the Flagler Review, and Minerva Rising Literary Journal, among others.

Web: &
Twitter: @nebula61