Accessibility Tools

  • Content scaling 100%
  • Font size 100%
  • Line height 100%
  • Letter spacing 100%

'Crying on cue', a new poem by Anthony Lynch

December 2013–January 2014, no. 357

'Crying on cue', a new poem by Anthony Lynch

December 2013–January 2014, no. 357

True Stories: Babes in Hollywood, directed by Dan Sturman and Dylan Nelson (2011)

An American wannabe child star
told the workshop of his still-born
brother. How his mother had said
the lost one, endlessly cast in a silent
movie, looked just like himself.
Niagara broke over the boy’s
cheeks. The fat kid to his left,
cast always as a bully, patted
his arm. The workshop leader said
That’s great.

I cried too when my own mother
rapped on the earth and said
Let me in – a role for which
I did not audition.
But recalling my theatrical
run for her departing
Holden on my second day of school,
I had perhaps rehearsed
this loss all my life.

Maybe that was method acting.
A performance with no dry run.

I have also played support
in the soft focus of someone else’s
grief. Perched by an elbow
or unshallow grave, I have sung
a solemn line in condolence. Offered
my own off-key anthem.

For the aspiring child actor,
imagining the death of their Burmese
or labradoodle can further provoke
a successful crying jag.

Later we learnt the boy crying
for his sibling self
got to play a kid vigilante
barking orders to brothers-in-arms
who stood and took it, mute
as still-borns. And I had always
thought the Americans
had no workshops for silence.

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.