Amulet (poem)

Posted by ractrose on 30 Sep 2020 in Art, Poems

Oil painting of oval shapes






First carry a sofa onto the stage

Foreshortening allows the table feet away

The table is useful, its magazines and small props

Prompting lines of dialogue

The actress has complained about the velvet

That carries light beautifully but catches at her tights

She and he perch in three-quarter pose

More athletic than viewers can surmise

A cup that to, in her dressing room, she speaks lines

Never quite fixed in memory the song they argue over, entering

Insensible, she wants to call it, and the joke of course

Is her rendering of it, the breathy oohs of the prelude

His parents are there, behind the bar, stage rear

No, she seems nice, the mother says, where she can hear

Did you want coffee, or more alcohol? Dear?

Sudden blackout and her alone in the spotlight

Glimmering to a soft blue bright


I can make this work out glorious-ly

I can fool the world, but I can’t me

Oh, to make a wish and have it be!


Her costume has changed, though the iridescence of her dress

Is an effect, she rises to her feet and step-glides left

Other dancers in dark, shining bodysuits, move catlike

The amulet that is the sorceress-aunt’s bequest

She lifts overhead to a faux-starry sky

The prop has an LED, her thumb sets the switch


Do I wish him more than ordinary?

Is it plain and good I want?

Play the princess in a hero’s story

Or myself be Lancelot?

Is it love surpassing love I dream of

Or a friend to hold my hand

As we grow old…

For we’ll grow old


Do I dream him with a dashing humor

Banter quips devil-may-care?

Me the naïf in a gamine’s story

Femme fatale, or stern Jane Eyre?

Is it life embracing life I dream of

Or a friend steadfastly there?

As we grow old…

For we’ll grow old





Pastel drawing of woman taken from Etruscan statuaryThe Bride
Amulet Two
















(2020, Stephanie Foster)