Seated in the front row,
a six-year-old, wide open
to magic, unsure, apprehensive.

Lights dim, music heralds.
His eyes spot-light the figures
cavorting, striding, singing.

Another world of good and evil,
laughter and tears, parades before him,
transforming the village hall.

Despite strange clothes, white wig,
he recognizes a familiar face;
calls his name, the magic becomes real.

Safe on Dad’s knee, he travels
with his hero, through haunted woods
singing today’s songs in long ago settings

and overcoming the terrifying giant
to claim the lovely bride, who daily
sells sweets in the local shop.

The play ends but not the wonder.

The scrape of chairs, sudden harsh lights
disclosing the shabbiness
of his surroundings, go unnoticed.

His hero, still dressed the part
comes towards him from back-stage
and the child’s face is aglow.

© Marion Sharville

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