Rehearsal by Donna Langevin

Poem name: Rehearsal Poet name: Donna Langevin Poem:  Moving from my spacious condo into a “shoebox-flat”,  I apologize to Dante, Shakespeare, Poe and those friends whose books I abandon at a second-hand store in hopes they’ll be re-homed.  Into a drop-off bin I dump decades of clothing, including  my dead father’s London Fog jacket, mom’s wedding dress, worn to my nuptials, and three shopping bags  bulging with my ghost-dog’s saved outfits.  Stopping at Goodwill, I cut the woolen umbilical  to my son’s baby sweater,  detach myself from the frayed cord of the lamp with two courtly figurines that were  waltzing in chipped ballroom gowns even before I was born.  I gift my friend with a fish-fossil, then under night’s raincoat, sneak my pebble collection into a stranger’s rock garden.  Bereft of most earthly goods  and left with a hand-tufted quilt  to cover my grief and guilt,  I dream this downsizing was just  a rehearsal for letting go my muscles,  renouncing my skin-robe, consigning my heart to burn with the house of my bones. End of poem.  Credits and bio: Copyright © Donna Langevin Poet/playwright Donna Langevin is a retired ESL teacher and the mother of three sons. The latest of her six poetry collections include Timed Radiance, Aeolus House 2014 and Brimming, Piquant Press 2019. Published in many Canadian and American journals over the years, she won second prize in the 2014 GritLIT contest, first prize in the Banister Anthology Competition 2019, and first place in the Ontario Poetry Society Pandemic Poem contest, 2020. Her plays The Dinner and Bargains in the New World won first prizes for script at the Eden Mills Festival in 2014 and 2015. If Socrates Were in My Shoes was produced at the Toronto Alumnae Theatre NIF Festival in 2018, and Remember Him Chasing Squirrels was performed there in 2020. Winner of a Stella Award (second place) from Act II Studio, Donna’s play Summer of Saints (about the 1847 typhus epidemic) was produced by Toronto Metropolitan University at their Fresh Picks: The Sandra Kerr New Plays Festival. A Story for Sadie, a collection of poems and letters in her grandmother’s imagined voice, is forthcoming from Piquant Press in 2023.