When I Stand on a Spotlit Stage
by Alice Morris

I am a world-class, class-act singer
When I stand on spot-lit stage
Patsy Cline, Dolly, Patti LaBelle, Ella, even Mahalia
Stand in awe
Of me
My voice, they say, is soothing, and soulful
Beyond compare

I have more fans than
Elvis, Johnny Cash, BB King, The Beatles, and Hendrix combined
And just when the word thinks I
Have reached my apex —

I switch

To the black and white of
Symphony halls
The woman
With sticks
Bringing down
Rolling Thunder
On kettledrums

Watch me —
Stage left, in back, watch closely —
See how I throw myself into the drumming — see how I withhold

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Me, 1968, as a high school junior playing the violin, but longing for the excitement of a great singing voice, or being a powerful force on kettledrums. (Photo from high school yearbook, edited by Alice Morris.)

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My wish for a melodic singing voice became especially strong when I had two young children who often covered their ears when I sang to them. As for kettledrums, in forth grade, I wanted to play this instrument, but percussion, like Little League in the mid-50s, was for boys. But I was able to “choose” the violin, which hurt my neck, and always slightly smacked of insult to me.

Morris– 1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alice Morris, a Minnesota native, earned her BS in English Education from Towson State University, and her MS in Counseling from Johns Hopkins. After applying her training as an educator, therapist, and later, as a real estate agent, Morris continually found herself returning to her passions of building, art, and writing. Her art has been published in a West Virginia textbook and The New York Art Review. Recently, her poetry has been published or accepted for forthcoming publication in three issues of The Broadkill Review, included in a chapbook, two poetry collections, two anthologies, the Weekly Advocate, and the Starting to Ride blog series by Silver Birch Press.