My Father, on Stage, Briefly Alone

By Bill Hollands. Published Oct 14, 2021 in autofocus

Community theater, The Gin Game
you’re old but not that old. Vigorous,

as Pete likes to say. You and your “wife”
take the stage, cards are dealt, the game

begins. Suddenly she stands, says she forgot
her glasses, exits the stage, leaves you

alone. Does the audience know
this isn’t in the script? In the dark

I’m certain this shouldn’t happen, why
is this happening? A shade

flits across your face, a blank sheet
in wind. But you keep your cool, invent

a funny bit where you peek at her cards, swap
one of hers for one of your own, perfectly

in character. The audience laughs. Your wife
who is not your wife returns. The play resumes.

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