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The Arena has become an aviary.

As we walk along the narrow corridor

into the auditorium, the sound

of eight and half thousand young voices

all chattering simultaneously

with wonder overwhelms us like a blast

of tropical heat, like a wall of bird song.


The music starts, the house lights go down.

In unison, as they begin to sing

‘Ode to Joy’, each one of the thousands

of song birds switches on a white, bright beam,

which shimmers and waves, glides and twinkles.


When the floods and spots permit we can see her,

with the plastic binoculars bought

from a vendor, clearly, among her classmates,

on the far side of the Arena.

Even through lenses she seems a long way off

in all that air – which once more goes black.

The myriad of small beams glows, flickers.




© Copyright David Selzer
3 Responses
  • Alan Horne
    January 30, 2021

    This is lovely, David, and perhaps particularly affecting, certainly for a local, because of the unspoken background of the bombing.

  • Sarah Selzer
    February 3, 2021

    Beautiful pictures painted of a scene that we knew we wouldn’t be experiencing again but only because the opportunity might not present itself – and not because a global pandemic would take hold! Another era… as a footnote I write this comment on my phone with predictive text choosing “go slow democracy” for my typed “global pandemic”. Spooky!!

  • Jeff Teasdale
    February 6, 2021

    Aah…..that wonderful moment when our children or grandchildren ‘go on-stage’, either by themselves (our son in the school’s production of Grease – wearing MY old leather jacket!) or in a group,(our granddaughters in the Youth Band), is very special, and captured here, David, beautifully. We see only them, as all the others are seen by theirs.. Again, very evocative….

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