Though clad in Ophelia’s gown,
the corpse was from that troupe
of strolling players that left
this morning with full purses
from my generous-to-a-fault son.

The “River of Tears” had changed
lives with her, or dare I dream it,
this jade murdered Ophelia,
to bask in court life, yoked
to my indulgent princely boy,
the drab tired of treading the boards.

Ophelia’s tears drove Hamlet mad,
and when I observed she was with issue,
her sobs insisted it was my son’s.

“Liar! Harlot!” I slapped her.

“What you don’t know about your angel
would fill a hymnal,” she snapped.

Beneath her Easter-lily timidity,
she cocooned my son
to her every whining whim
and now has absconded or is dead;
only Christ knows or cares,
and this simulacrum’s drowned.
Good riddance to the pair
of plotting Salomes.

Should Ophelia ever return
from her wanderings or from
“the unexplored country”—
poets’ outlandish metaphor
for the Hell she’s earned—
her resurrection will be brief.