The kids are putting on a play,
clipping parts like paper dolls,
shaping their faces and arms,
folding the costume tabs over
their shoulders and hips, each
claiming the wilted-sword hero,
the tragic woman who burns
for loneliness, the clownish couple
retrying to smooth out the crinkled
corners, the blunted edges.
Their eyes roll in their poses,
which get stiff as the afternoon pulls
out. The plan is redrawn, crumpled,
revised. The readiness is all.