Skip to content

It’s Time

November 13, 2008

From the Writer’s Almanac today. This is one for all the host of minor characters out there. Barack may have his work to do, as do so many other powerbrokers. But even for the minor characters, like most of us, there will always be the moment to speak our lines. The genius comes in recognising it.

Be it tragedy or comedy, drama or love or war or heartbreak or the need to be steadfast, we can only sit on the edge for so long, then comes our limelight.

The League of Minor Characters

The main character sits on his childhood bed
naming everything that’s gone—ex-job, ex-wife,
ex-best friend-and finally apprehends

the breakdown we’ve felt coming since chapter five.
When his doctor calls with test results, most of usv decide to remain minor characters

like the quixotic neighbor growing
bonsai sequoias, or the waitress with thick
glasses and a passion for chess,

because the main character, in the thrall
of a relentless plot, can’t help hurtling toward
the crumbling cliff edge. And who needs that?

Some inherit genes from generations
of minor players, some must learn to guard
those sunny Sundays with the paper

full of heroes in distant gunfire. And some of us
who’ve gotten smug over the years turn another page,
turn on the football game, until one day

the doorbell rings. We close our books,
adjust our eyes, and the protagonist
sweeps in insisting himself into our lives

with his entourage of lust and language,
sorrow, brio. Hero, anti-hero, it hardly matters
with the lights this bright. The music crests

and it’s time to speak.

Kathleen Flenniken

Advertisements

From → Poetry

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: