What Sayeth You?

To be or not to be?
Used to be relevant, right?
Remember that thunderous
week in Honors English
when Hamlet was thrust on us
like an arrow
through our adolescent
hearts? Was his life more unfair
than ours? And was death
the only choice? Who hasn’t
suffered heartache? Who doesn’t
swim in a salty sea of troubles?

Jerry, remember him?
Wasn’t he first at everything?
Smoked a joint first, right?
And wasn’t he first to get kicked
out for drinking, too? Remember
how he alone refused to cut his hair
and called himself Jesus just to
piss off the nuns? And did you ever
see anybody climb and drop better
on monster waves at Malibu? Or
look more gorgeous in a Hawaiian
shirt? Did you fall in love with him
like Ophelia with Hamlet?
Didn’t he seem like the happiest
kid in the world? And don’t you
wonder why a guy like Jerry
hung himself with his father’s tie
that winter? I guess we’ll never know.


We’re nearly halfway through April! On Day 14 the optional NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a poem using only questions, except for the last sentence. Like a bolt of lightning, the ghosts of Shakespeare and Jerry popped into my head.


Watercolor of Hamlet and Ophelia by Mikhal Vrubel, 1883
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


12 thoughts on “What Sayeth You?

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