• Steve Cooke

"Sarah Siddons As the Tragic Muse"


(A portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1784)

At home in center stage, within the light,

Upon your columned throne, in tragic role,

This canvas scene depicts the appetite

For drama dwelling deep within your soul.

With umber gown so rich and fine, you sit

And stare—perhaps preparing roles the Boards

Have yet to see. Your beaded pearls befit

Sienna hair, well pampered and adored.

With tears from Pity’s raining face at right,

And Terror’s howling glare from left, it seems

Your place is in the eye of storms—A fight

For others, yet your face is lost in dreams.

One image captures all there is of you—

A lone performance with a rave review.

Steve Cooke has been writing for over thirty years. Recent work has appeared in Old Red Kimono, Mobius, Nth Degree, and The Enchanted File Cabinet. He has a short story forthcoming in Evening Street Review, and poetry forthcoming in Foliate Oak. He has lived in Kearney, Nebraska for over five years with his wife and two of their three kids. He manages the Kearney Goodwill (Store of the Year) and is a Creative Writing, Poetry, and Microsoft Application instructor at Central Community College. He is past president of the Kearney Area Arts Council and is a member of Kearney Cultural Partners and currently sits on the board of Kearney Children's Museum. He is a volunteer for Junior Achievement and for Crane River Theater.


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