Today's poem is by Zana Previti

Second Servant, King Lear, Act III, Scene VII

I have cultivated enemies to practice
compassion but it has tried me
past my limit. I have barely learned

my lines in time. I am the idea-maker,
I suppose, the one who says, let's get

this out of here and I am not afraid
to say it is because I am afraid.

Let's be calm again, drink something warm,
wash my socks so they will be clean and dry

in the morning. This is who I am. Not the one
who moved to save him. Not the one

who has run off to gather help, medicine,
everything. My mother was born near the coast

and she never let us go anywhere
without dry feet;

but we did not feel loved.
I have tried to be good.

You must, or else,
This happens—

And if this happens,
it cannot unhappen
and no courage
or fear-heavy servant
or flax can repair
the past hour. We are all
so often afraid and watching.

Copyright © 2016 Zana Previti All rights reserved
from New Orleans Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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