Monday, December 15, 2014

Seen this play before

Edgewood Elementary Spring Review

Richard Bryant played The Boy
With me in the role of The Father
Inspired casting in the months following

The March On Washington
For Jobs And Freedom
The 16th Street Baptist Church
bombing in Birmingham

I remember Mr. Conti
Or was it Mrs. McKinney?
Directing us to remain silent for one full minute
Before speaking

Richard who lived
North of the plastics factory
In the colored section
Near Collis Harris and Richard Jenkins
Lacy Webb and Dennis Ross

Played the inquisitive child
To my detached adult
Asking questions like
“Why is the sky blue?” and “Which came first the chicken
Or the egg?”

My character
Puffing on a prop pipe
Hiding behind The Detroit Free Press
Had only to repeat the line
“I don’t know, son.”

I remember the audience laughing
When we delivered
The set up and the punch line

Perhaps the playwright either
Mrs. McKinney or Mr. Conti
Would have revised their script

Had they any inkling of the uprising
That would burn the city in three years or
Written new dialogue fifty years later

The grave father
Telling the wide eyed son
About survival in an age of enlightenment. 

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