Today's poem is by Kimberly Johnson
The king's in rags, the robe of his state unseamed
Like a flimsy
Map over-and overfolded.
Finally silent the squabble and scold,
The family rabble
Undaughtered by dagger,
By draught and a noose, and his poor fool hanged.
Had greater cause to quit. The quarto
Stretches Lear upon the world's tough rack
To sorrow's span
And then undoes the button
Of his last breath. But the later draft
Engrafts a father's
Fancy to his final: Look there,
Look there, as if some lively twitch yet flickered
Upon the lips
Of the ever-illegible girl.
There at the verge of tragedy, say never,
Times over like a fetish,
A fervor of faith that the folio knows
The one unrecoverable blow.
Come bereave, come bruise, but of all the wounds
We suffer, hope
Will kill us every time.
Copyright © 2016 Kimberly Johnson All rights reserved
from New Orleans Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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