(Photo by Ariel Poster: Women tend trees with the Green Belt Movement in Kenya)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Playback Theatre at the Prison

Playback Theatre at the Prison

At the women’s prison, after the show,
everyone steps out for a smoke.
Fifteen degrees cold, the moon shines full and clear
in the trees near our sidewalk space.
What makes the cigarette a small escape?
At the family care home, schizophrenics come out for a smoke,
nicotine a moment’s respite from unceasing voices.
Here at the prison, we laugh and play with scarves,
remember our children, make new promises,
and retreat to a moment unfettered
in the untamable smoke’s plume.
Then all gasp. The moon, a light show,
sends a rainbow through the one night cloud,
peeping and hiding in impenetrable darkness,
and emerging brilliant.
The shapes of clouds. The comments from the prisoners:
“The Eye of God! A smiling face!
God’s smiling at us! An arrow; a bird.
We’re forgiven! We’re going to be free!
A heart; God’s love.”
The moon and cloud a brilliant interplay
for us, there on the prison sidewalk,
and beyond, and beyond.

Annelinde Metzner January 2005

Playback Theatre builds community by honoring and performing people's stories. Visit Asheville Playback Theatre at

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