• Yasmeen Salama

Broken Strings: A poem to capture the memory of dreams lost

Updated: Apr 5, 2020



The red curtains draw, the raucous sound of applause,

The scent of popcorn permeates the air,

The wooden paneled stage, in the Victorian Age

Waits for me whilst I prepare

I remember it well, the plush red seats

The engraved friezes set into the walls

The bright studio lights, shining from the rafters’ heights

The sonorous chorus echoing through the halls

My master lifts me gently, from my hinged oaken chest

His smile so fond and so sweet

His favorite Marionette, for I can interpret

His art, and his essence complete

The audience calls to me as I am lowered down,

They stomp and cheer in delight

The audience regales, in my heroic tales,

As I dance in the warm spotlight

Upon crystalline strings that pull me to and fro

I silently, hypnotically pantomime

The phantasm is replete, to those leaning forward in their seats

Transfixed on my movements sublime

For countless years, I performed in this theater

The musty scent and creaky floors I know best

The other puppets my friends, their survival depends

On this home, let it never divest

And then came the sound that shattered this rapture

A sickly snap in the air

I come back to the now, and wonder how

Such beauty was consumed by disrepair

The walls now dilapidated, the insects long since invaded

Dust clogs every corner and crevice

The theater seats worn, the red curtains torn

The eerie silence vast and endless

I sit in the center of the creaky wooden stage,

Further into despair I sink

I can see in the fractured mirror, a single droplet tear

On my pale cheek, painted in dark ink.

How strange it is to think, now that my dream is shattered

And I stare longingly at my beloved things

That all that I knew, away in the wind blew

All because of a few broken strings

How fragile life is, fragile as a porcelain puppet

And as fleeting as an audiences’ eyes

When my string snapped, and my right arm flapped

Those adoring eyes seemed like traitorous lies

And so here I sit, alone and forgotten

Reminiscing on a life of kings

I sit in the dust, to my own company I trust

Remembering a time without broken strings

The red curtains draw, the raucous sound of applause,

The scent of popcorn permeates the air,

The wooden paneled stage, in the Victorian Age

Waits for me whilst I prepare

By Yasmeen Salama

April 15, 2014


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