where the writers are
Invitation to the Opera






Invitation to the Opera


They say to handle each paper once,
but I can never do that with the opera invites,
for I am someone who would like to like the opera.
So when an invitation comes, along with the bills,
college reunion and credit-card offerings to my ex-wife,
fundraising letters from my daughter's expensive college,
small magazines that published my work,
magazines I keep renewing but never find time to read,
even gold-embossed credit-card offerings to my ex-ex-wife,
it's the opera offer I can't throw away.

It would be so good for the kids if I could get them to go.
I wonder whether to subscribe or just pick one or two.
Perhaps start with a familiar name.
La Traviata, Madame Butterfly, Aida, or Carmen.
Or how about these colorful ads for the new ones:
The Death of Klinghoffer or Nixon in China
any program that puts the stars in tails and flowing gowns.
Some Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday, maybe next season
I'll be there, part of the daringly-dressed audience
as the lights dim.  Imagine me in that heart-stopping
quiet just before the songs echo into the night.