The Last Performance

Updated on May 7, 2017

The Last Performance

The sounds have long faded from the dancers’ skilled feet,

And the stage is left barren of them all.

The actors and actresses have changed from their people,

From their exits and entrances and last curtain call.

Gone is the rushing and missing and making

All the scenes filled with laughter and clapping.

From the hoop skirts drip wrinkles of memorized nightlies,

And the bow ties sing on though the chorus stopped singing.

The scenery hangs silent yet longingly crying,

For the hands that have touched it in haste,

Will no longer remember the touch of each curtain,

Nor sorrow when it’s all laid to waste.

The sunrise will come scattering sequins and glitter,

Paint from the face was removed with a dream

That came to an end when a curtain hushed silent

Songs, dances and all things that are not what they seem.

Farewell to this world of top hats and roses,

And such as we’ve all been for a while.

Farewell till we meet on some distant dream,

And think back to this stage and these faces, and smile.

June 28, 1981


Back in 1981, I was appearing in the musical "Show Boat" at the Three Little Bakers Dinner Theater in Delaware. So much fun, and so many memories, I wrote this poem after that last performance.

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