Ophelia, made mad by the murder of her father,
Took to singing snatches of song; before long she
Was weaving garlands of flowers and weeds, climbing
A willow along a river in Elsinore to hang them there.
Among the flowers were long purples, orchis mascula,
Also known as dead men’s fingers, or among the vulgar,
something far grosser; a too-strong attraction to a father,
perhaps, was reflected in that choice.
You went down to the water with a purpose, unlike Ophelia,
who fell into the water when a branch broke. She
floated, unaware of her peril, her clothes holding
Her up as she sang, suspended, until at last she sank.
I think you heard overtones of your own as alone,
You wandered the banks of Deep River; a father who made
Piano keys, whom you loved too much and blamed at the same time,
since he was taken from you not by
another’s hand, but by his own choosing.
Where Ophelia fell, you leapt.