14. Persis Performs
Dark stage. PERSIS appears in taffeta, ribbons in hair. Curtsy. Rainbow appears upstage and vanishes.
PERSIS: Dark is the hope that Papa fears the most;
Light is the scorching sun that blinds his eyes.
When Mama holds him tightly, I despise
Her tattered touch, her hatred, and her boast
That she alone can ever have his love
And scintillating words of saving praise.
She is the wicked wind of solar rays
Which burn him, roll through sockets, till I shove
Her keening shrilly, lolloping away,
And I return at last to Papa’s side,
Despairing of my lack of healing pride
In him, the failure. Kissing him, I say,
“Pa! though your flesh is gone, I’ll ever care
For you, in your glass cage devoid of air.”
PERSIS curtsys again, not knowing in which direction to face. She smiles nervously and turns back to me. I nod approvingly, remembering the Mama figure I created to make PERSIS love me more. I hold her hand and we bow together. I give her a loving kiss and send her offstage. She skips off, remembering no fear.