For Janice
by James Keller


This is my swan song. I kind of hoped it wasn’t, but in
my bones I knew it. Fifty years of acting on the stage
and it come down to not losing my marbles, but my
memory. All our lives, we actors memorize words
that others write, we breathe life into them and bring
their characters to life. We wake up every morning
and ask, “Who am I?” And if we’re cast in a play, we 
can say, I’m the haunted mother or a mad queen or 
a woman who arrives on a bicycle or leaves on a
broomstick. We learn our lines and hope that whoever 
is directing us, knows their craft and respects actors
just enough not to ask us to stand on our heads stark 
naked while reciting a long speech from Shakespeare. 
It’s been a long hard road, but no harder than any other
road. I’ve had a lot of fun, a few tears, but always kept 
on going. I guess I’ve been on that ice flow for a while.
but I did not  know it. Well, of course, I knew it, but I
pretended I didn’t, just like anyone whose heard the
chimes at midnight and turned over and gone back to
sleep murmuring to the night, tomorrow is another day.