when I was maybe five or six
I was all fixed
to make a speech
to some visiting puppeteers who each
were supposed to get
a fancy pencil in a presentation set
as a way of letting them know
how grateful we were for their marionette show
I sat in the audience, ready to go
‘Thank you for coming to our school
we enjoyed the show and we hope that you’ll…’
and so on
trouble was I didn’t know when to go on
the show opened
with a skeleton
on its ribs
I sat there anxiously playing with the nibs
the skeleton was cute!
played its arm like a flute!
a leg bone like a cornet!
the whole school adored it!
unfortunately I ignored it
too busy going over my lines
under my breath a hundred times
and then suddenly it was done
the skeleton was gone
and even though it was barely a minute
still I jumped up to thank them for the visit
the curtains shot up again; the show carried on
I was grabbed by the shirt and I sat back down
the moral of this story?
relax! don’t worry!
focus on the essentials
skeletons not pencils