DOROTHY NIMMO: Dream Play

I know there’s something I must do today.
It’s half an hour before curtain rise,
what is my part in this, and what’s the play?
There is a smell of greasepaint, dust and size.

It’s half an hour before curtain rise,
this is the dressing-room I know is mine.
There is a smell of greasepaint, dust and size.
For God’s sake tell me, what’s the opening line?

This is the dressing-room I know is mine,
when they begin I’ll recognise my cue.
For God’s sake tell me, what’s the opening line?
Who am I? What am I supposed to do?

When they begin I’ll recognise my cue.
You’re on! they whisper and I face the light.
Who am I? What am I supposed to do?
Forgive me, mother. Have I got that right?

You’re on! they whisper and I face the light.
and say the line that they expect from me:
Forgive me, mother. Have I got that right?
Was it the daughter that I had to be?

I say the line that they expect from me.
My voice is strangled. I’m awake. I shout
I know there’s something I must do today
and I can’t do it. You must write me out.

My voice is strangled. I’m awake. I shout
I know there’s something I must do today
and I can’t do it. You must write me out.
It’s not my part and this is not my play.

“It’s not my part and this is not my play.” I’ve seen dogs – I’ve seen pigs – that were clearly feeling and thinking exactly that. But it’s not only the odd dog, the odd pig, the odd human. I believe it is all of us at some point in our lives. 

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