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In the Bathtub

By Madge Kaplan

PROMPT—No one noticed ...

A quiet space, no interruptions, warm.

Persistence resonates, splashes startle

…in the bathtub.

The young actor appeals to tiled walls:

“You must commit. Make a choice. Say you’re sorry!”

The drama of it all

…in the bathtub.

Props of soap and shampoo bottles fly, then bob

among rubber ducks and little toes.

Accusations, repercussions, slamming doors.

Did you know that tears stay moist

…in the bathtub?

In time, the water grows cold,

The curtain comes down.

A small frame rises from the depths

…of the bathtub.

A quick dry, pajama clad,

The dash for bed.

New lines occur under cover of

night. Until the next show

…in the bathtub.


Throughout careers in teaching, national broadcast journalism, and strategic communications, Madge Kaplan has always pounced on opportunities to write memoir vignettes, essays, poems, and short plays. Many of her pieces have hit the airwaves, appeared in online publications, and been performed. Madge writes from Cambridge, MA.


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