~ Ophelia ~
Dear God I like this not;
each step I take to try and staunch
the mysterious bleeding of the soul
that afflicts Hamlet,
leads me to open fragile arteries
within my own spirit.
No one action seems malign;
my father’s will to assistance seems kind;
the Queen surely loves her son;
the King, though I do not know him well,
seems to wish for Hamlet to find peace.
Well and good, well and good…
and yet I yielded up
Hamlet’s letter of affection to me
with the feeling that I should first have died
before laying our love
into the hands of our parents.
If he had once spoken to me
—Damn it, once!—
to give reason for his breaking of our bond,
then no force on earth or heaven
could have compelled me
to speak of that which should be ours alone.
My father thinks that love,
is somehow the cause
which has mazed Hamlet’s mind.
But how thwarted?
Not by me.
So before we even begin,
I feel our acts must go astray
for being laid on faulty ground.
But Father’s solution,
encouraged, it seems
by the King and Queen as well,
is to test this, by laying my hurt
openly before him;
to return all tokens of his love
and demand satisfaction of his thoughts.
This would seem right action,
even to my own mind.
I have never been one to hide a hurt
behind a sigh and demure eyes;
let us speak plainly,
naked in our thoughts and needs.
What galls me to this course
is the fact that my father and the King
plan to hide themselves within hearing,
so as to judge the Prince’s response,
and so learn enough to take action
for his health and spirit’s recovery.
So they are spies,
rooting in his most secret heart,
and I their accomplice.
Should he be the one so deceiving
in the name of love,
would I find it a gesture of touching care,
or black betrayal?
Both, I think…
and that is where hoped-for cure
and serpent’s venom,
(that very poisonous image
which so seems to possess Hamlet’s thoughts)
are bottled in the same glass.
But I do not know what else to do.
Heaven be kind to us.