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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Chase

Poem Inspired by "Romeo and Juliet" at Shakespeare in Delaware Park

By Justin Karcher

How to Feel Much Younger Than Your Age

We’re lying in the dewy grass of Shakespeare Hill

eating Chocolate Teddy Grahams and waiting for the sun

to set on today’s grievances: long work week, friends

you never see anymore, that nagging feeling that there’s

something else we should be doing with our lives

but it all fades away when the play starts, lights up

on a surf shop in a beach town plucked straight

from our dreams where we still keep the spirit of youth

alive in everyone, where we’re all full of Queen Mab energy

dancing to the music of our favorite local bands who never

broke up, who live forever through the airwaves, a pair

of star-crossed lovers right in the middle of it all and of course

it doesn’t end well for them but that’s really not the point

of their story, it’s how we tell it, a fresh vision recalibrating

those old emotions, just a little reminder that growing up is a frenzy

you get lost in it, so always remember the compass of your heart

you either figure everything else out or you don’t, and as night

settles in and the actors leave the stage, we’re walking to our car

on Windsor and see a group of teenagers staring at a parking ticket

on their windshield because they were too close to a fire hydrant

everyone’s freaking out except for the driver who simply says

“It’s only $40” and just like that, they’re beating back the world

fairies flying alongside them toward an ocean of their own creation

Aidan Conklin as Romeo and Erin Grace Kelly as Juliet. Photo: Larry Roswell, Shakespeare in Delaware Park


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