08 February 2019

Crowds On Call for Really Bad Days

Procession of Characters from Shakespeare's Plays



Indulgent, I lean in to every
moment of day’s end—nature’s twilight
and my wee morning hours of darkness.

My spinal column gives up its task of 
uprightness, but though this tree sways, it won't--
it refuses--to lay down into sleep.

As if sleep were oblivion, Hamlet’s
edgy question.  As if insomnia
were certain, stating Macbeth's “Sleep no more.”

And guilt follows with the nastiness of
cover ups.  I accuse everyone of wounds
and error, before hearing new voices

demanding forgiveness, promising to
remember that we humans fail, crying
with Lear, "Howl, Howl, Howl," at last.

I am Hamlet's Ophelia, Macbeth's
Lady and Lear's sweet Cordelia dying
alone in despair, crushed and powerless.  

But surrounding these tragic figures are
siblings and confidants and creator--
evidence that life is more than metaphors 

we use to speak of pain, more than we see 
in the magnifying glass of fiction, 
more than trees and spines and philosophies.

When you hear me whisper and shout these words:
"We are more than . . ." help me fill in the blank.
The important thing is to be alive.

My blog poems are rough drafts.
Please respect my copyright. 

© 2019 Susan L. Chast

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