The Reflection That No One Else Knows

I brush by the curtain, I wait by the door;
I dwell on the scene that I’ve long seen before.
The players are different, their lines are the same;
the prompter is patiently trying my name.
I dream along as they whisper of fame,
in the evening they whisper rehearsing the sorrow and shame.
In the evening they’ve acted while I, I’ve directed
and so I’ve got no one to blame.
As the curtain goes up, one more opening night,
oh my God how I’ve wished I was lame.

I kneel at the alter, I paint on the mask;
I dig the pit deep, I get on with the task!
The players applaud as I toil in the cold,
the dust of my dreams well worth its weight in gold,
the sermons I’ve bartered or worse bought and sold,
in the market I gambled and squandered a fortune I’m told!
The excuses pile high as the reasons are buried,
the truth seems to crumble with mold.
As the rites are recited, the players bow out,
oh my God how I’ve wished I was old!

I walk to the river, I strip off the clothes;
I see the reflection that no one else knows.
Costumes are fragile, they float on their way,
so with the mask I paint on day to day;
I know full well that tomorrow the play
must go on as it will with the new players having their say.
But for now, for this moment the water is clear
as I’ve scrubbed all my best roles away.
As the curtain goes down, no one left here but me,
oh my God how I’ve wished I could stay.