The Settler

Curtain up.
A lone figure stands 
stage left. 

At once, you
begin classifying: 
Male. White.
Fat. Old. 
Badly dressed,
uncomfortable,
and so on.

Maybe you’re wrong?
Who cares?
What you don’t know can’t
hurt you as long as you
are just watching, after all.

What you don’t know
shouldn’t trouble you.
You paid to get here.
You paid for the privilege
of deciding plot and character, 
set and theme…

The scene turns.
You see that it was all done
with complicated lighting:

he’s not white;
those clothes
are better than you thought;
you’re clearly projecting discomfort 
where there is none —
he seems completely at ease,
looking right at you without a word.

You’re pissed off — after all
you pay the players’s to play,
and if they aren’t playing 
what you paid for or thought 
you were paying for,
that has to be on them.
That has to be a mistake.

They don’t seem to be playing.

No wonder
you’re shifting in your seat.

You are completely
unsettled after you thought
your settling was over
and done with

and there’s no indication
from the action on stage
when the curtain
will be coming down.

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About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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