Saturday, November 10, 2012

Not the End of The World

Not the End of The World
“Unhand her, vagabond,” was my one line
in the school play. I had the part of the cop,
a minor role compared to Beth Levine’s,
the heroine, or Billy Wiesenkopf’s,
the vagabond. Still, I took my part seriously.
So although he forgot to take her hand, right on cue
I yelled, “Unhand her, vagabond,” and it struck me
and everyone else, that my line made no sense. Then I knew:
this is the kind of mistake that will end the world;
a question of bad timing will hang in the air
like an empty trapeze swinging above the smoke
of that final disaster. Someone will utter a word
too late to take back, reach for a hand that’s not there,
and “It’s not the end of the world,” will not be spoken. 

Paul Hostovsky

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