They had their roles to play
with no understudies they were pressed to perform
no matter the circumstances
The dancer with a sore toe
The singer gargling warm saline
The writer with a broken pencil
All had to carry on
finding new ways
to perform without conforming
to express without regressing
to satisfy without feeling sated
When the lights dimmed
critics would come out of their slouch
and pick and mangle and scoff
since they were unable to do more
The roles would be filled again
by new artists the next day
and those with acclaim as well as not
would all be forgotten just the same

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