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Grace is a contributing writer for Narrow Way to Broadway

Never Too Late (Poem Version)

I visited my high school theater teacher,

browsing old show posters with borrowed nostalgia,

imagining how many star theater kids

were able to fulfill their dreams;

how many went for a BFA against their parents’ wishes?

how many went so far as to make the pilgrimage to New York,

as many hopefuls have before them?


I think of the theatrical people

who fill my life with love these days;

people who are dramatic,

both professionally and interpersonally.

The multitude of “theater kid dreams”

represented in Tuesday afternoon holding rooms

and Washington Heights apartments.

What were my dreams?

I had only one that sticks with me to this day:

To be conventional.









I didn’t have to be taught to play small,

it has always come naturally;

even before my life was filled

with the biggest kind of personalities. 


Despite my tendency to crave the conventional,

two things have found me against my will,

both have denied me the comforting self-deception of thinking

playing small was the real me:

faith and art. 


At 16,

the illusion of control was baptized right out of me.

My smartass atheism

unable to breathe anymore.

Now, I breath in God:

divine inspiration.


At 21, 

embarrassed by my own creativity

and denying myself the dangerous artist’s life,

the curtain rose without my cue,

the lights illuminating that I’d always

been standing beneath a proscenium. 

After divine inspiration

comes a long-awaited exhale.


When art called,

there was no more room to play small. 

My desired life of comfort and stability

saw its name etched into stone

next to the grave marker of my long gone unbelief. 


He’d waited through my 



and elusive strategies

for me to finally say,

“God, I’m an artist. Just like you.”


I’ve since realized

that it is wasted effort to continue

constructing my own veil.

The one already eternally torn is enough.

My truest presence

doesn’t need to be kept separate.


It’s never too late to admit that you long for something more than yourself.

It’s never too late to find a different dream.

It’s never too late to mourn,

or to dance.

It’s never too late to live loud and in color,

to be singular.

It’s never too late to be someone new,

especially if that “someone new” is actually just the real you.

Creative Direction, Styling, and Painting by: Grace Copeland

Painting Titled: "The Old Me"

Photography: Rickie Poole

Written by Grace Copeland


Personal Favorites


Somewhere along the way

going home 


visiting my parents.

Going home was stillness among the trees.

Going home was Cardinal Drive and Wildcat Creek Road.

Going home was my first car, a black 2016 Kia Soul.

Going home was hoping to run into high school boyfriends.

Goin home was being asked,
"How long will you be home?"

Somewhere along the way

going home


visiting my parents.

Visiting my parents is subdivisions on our once rural road.

Visiting my parents is lunch with Grammy at 12:15PM on Wednesdays.

Visiting my parents is my dad's Jeep, a white 2006 Wrangler.

Visiting my parents is scribbling poems about Brooklyn boys at stop lights.

Visiting my parents is being asked,

"How long until you go back home?"

Somewhere along the way

going home

became visiting my parents.


I have to laugh

when they call me intense

for they will find me

in the Tent

of Meeting.

An imitation of Bernadette Rule's poem "Emily Dickinson":

"I have to laugh

when they call me


for certainly I am

at the centre

of something."

The Rain Gives Me Permission

One of my favorite things about New York

is how unremarkable it is

to see someone cry on the train.

Rainfall on city streets gives me permission to cry.


the indifference towards my tears

offers a safe embrace

that his indifference toward them never could.

A Liturgy for Art as a Means, Not an End

I pray for divine inspiration

divine ideas

divine artistry

to breath in God.

Lord, use me as a vehicle

for your beauty to make its way to earth.

Whether it be theater, dance, writing, photography, or painting,

I want to be nothing more than

a paper straw.

Slowly disintegrating

with a limited time of use

a momentary channel.

Let me create what the Creator would give me the honor

of simply passing through

my mind

my hands

into His creation.


Lord, we need your beauty.

We need to stand in awe.

Thank you for art that give us

eyes to see and ears to hear.


May it all point to You.

Art as a means, not an end.

Artists as a means, not an end.

Artists loved more than their art

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