The Audition

Fretful parents twitter

whilst noncommittal teens

idle in their wake.


Thumbing nervously at tired scores

painful minutes are filled

with times, places & tuning.


Junior drinks a coke.


All the years of sacrifice

the money, the mileage,

the hours of practice & encouragement

didn’t they deserve the fruits?


Alexander chews a nail

and eyes a passing female.


Glancing from their agitation

their hopes are swallowed by the lift.

God help him if he lets them down.


The lift returns.

Bringing fear — sharp as a tack.


Gabbling, they fill the space between them

“Did you make any mistakes?

Were you relaxed?

You didn’t mumble,

tell me you didn’t mumble?

For Christ’s sake speak up will you.



“OK” he said

his thoughts already on a burger.


(Written whilst assisting in the running of a National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain audition day)