Where new writing finds its voice

Play of the Past

Noel Sloboda

    Madeline almost didn’t
see the yellow, tattered 
    poster through the rain,
asking everyone who passed 
    Which is the natural man, 
which the spirit? 
    Who deciphers them? 
The dates had passed 
    for the show, one they had 
seen on their first date, 
    The Comedy of Errors

    Later it became a source
of laughs, his being half 
    an hour late, her 
spilling a drink after dinner, 
    their mutual ease 
at imperfections later less 
    easily forgiven. 
But when they saw the play 
    a second time 
they found themselves 
    misremembering plot points.

    The setting seemed off, too,
a modern Ephesus this time. 
    It could have been better, 
she thought, yet she stayed 
    through every act. 
She found new meaning 
    in the old comedy 
the second time around: 
    It would go on, 
bad or good, then play again after 
    the curtain dropped.