Posted in Poetry

Sally: A Poem

sally field oscars 2013-11.jpg

Everyone’s favorite George dances onto the stage

His suit classy and black, his hair hinting old age

The microphone wobbles when he touches its spine

The title card zooms straight out of the screen

A hush sweeps over a room filled with envy

The Best Supporting Actress remains to be seen

 

“Good evening,” he says, his face drenched in white light

“It’s time to hand out the first award of the night.”

I clench my fists and bite down on my tongue

I flaunt a peppy look that’s not bitter with defeat

Even though I’ve lost to the critics and actors

Even though my rear end stays forever in this seat

 

Fifty years and a fortnight my career has gone strong

I’ve played a flying nun, and I’ve burst into song

Since the sixties they’ve flocked to this luminous Field

They’ve watched my films in theaters, on cable, ABC

They said yes to Norma, to Mamma Gump and Aunt May

They’ve said they like me, that they really, really like me

 

But today’s a new world, obsession over youth

No one cares my husband was shot by John Wilkes Booth

They all turn to the starlet, with the lame pixie haircut,

With the bright eggshell eyes, with the grin of a whore

So she sang and she starved and she died all dramatic

I could sweep up her talent with a mop on the floor

 

The clips fly by, I see Amy Adams, Helen Hunt

I wouldn’t mind a surprise there, none of them is a runt

Steven gives me a wink, Daniel takes my sweaty hand

And I glare at the skinny bitch who hasn’t eaten for a day

George opens the envelope, tries his best to look surprised

“Ladies and gentlemen, the Oscar goes to Anne Hathaway!”

 

The camera zooms in, I let out a fake cheer

I try not to sprint to the bar and chug a cold beer

Anne ascends the stairs, and I pray that she trips

She takes hold of the statue, and I hope that it breaks

When she thanks her doofy husband, Ryan Gosling-lite

I dream I make that award mine, whatever it takes

 

I’d leap up to the stage, pop her three times in the face

I’d stand with my Oscar, proud to have won my third race

But then: “Who I have to thank most is my hero, Sally.”

I sit up in my seat, as Anne turns to me, and says,

“You’re stunning, sublime, you’re the cream of the crop

It’s icons like you who make me strive for my best.”

 

As the applause overwhelms me, as the people give thanks

From Sandra to Brad, to Cher and Tom Hanks

I nod to Anne, to all the stars and the rest

I take in my surroundings and I try to finally see

Just how privileged I am, and how so very lucky

Because the world still likes me, they really, really like me

This poem was written right before the 2013 Academy Awards ceremony, and later published in Strong Verse Magazine.

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