Sitting Next to a Stranger at the Town Hall Theater

Pardon me for thinking this armrest

    was ours. For assuming what they were

 

singing had more to do with our lives

    than theirs. What, I’m guessing, brings

 

you here, too. It’s hard to read the titles

    above the tenor’s head, without wanting

 

to say the same thing to you. How chance

    finds two strangers sitting on a bench

 

in the park. And not separated at birth,

    the Playbill notes say, we’ll come to learn

 

later. I don’t want to believe I’m sitting next

    to my sister, even if that sears their plot,

 

lets the soprano engage her lover.

    And not the guy sitting to your right,

 

I want to think of as your father, not anyone

    who might have walked you here,

 

across our town green. Not raising

    his voice above a whisper.

 

Like I’m leaning over to do.

    If I can have your ear, la mia bella

 

senora. My armrest-sharer, my afternoon

opera-goer.

 

                Gary Margolis, Cornwall

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

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