How To Write A Mummers Play
By Allison Aldrich
‘Twas a month before Solstice, and all through my head
Ran a host of ideas and thoughts, so instead
Of paying my bills or attending to mail,
I spent every day on the Web, without fail
Trolling for news items, searching for memes-
Soon it was haunting my thoughts and my dreams.
Oh, no! it’s December! And I haven’t written
A line or a phrase- I must have been smitten
With rushes of blood to my head to agree
To write this ridiculous annual spree.
But now they are asking, “So, how is it going?”
“Just great!” I assure them, sincerity flowing.
In fact, I’ve a plot in my head that might work,
And yes! Just in time, there’s an obvious jerk
In the news, who is perfect for playing the Fool,
And the maiden is there, but the hero’s in school
And can’t be consulted. The Dragon could be
Any number of nasties that daily we see
On the news, on the streets, but whichever I choose,
You can bet that the week of the show there’ll be news
Of an impending threat or a star on a bend,
Who should be included, but now to attend
To rehearsals, and costumes, and last-minute changes-
The rhymes don’t quite scan, Father Christmas arranges
A family party the day of the show!
The Fair Maiden’s costume’s revealing to show
What must not be shown- can we get underway
And perform a complete and acceptable play
That has humor and context and couplets that rhyme,
And scan the right rhythm, for most of the time?
Will the audience laugh? Will the swords ever lock?
Will the hero lie there with a hole in his sock?
Yes , they will, yes we can, yes we did, it was fun!
And now I can file this son-of-a-gun!
Will I do it again? Oh, I will if they ask,
Despite all the worries that come with the task.
And now to relax, celebrate with good cheer!
I wish you good Solstice, and happy New Year!