Ophelia

Helen Forman

From The Kenyon Review, Spring 1951, Vol. XIII, No. 2

Forlorn Ophelia draggles everywhere,
An ivory tower for polliwogs,
Her feet and her hands and her shattered hair
Weeping undone as peas and pods.
She was marvelous and tall in her dream.
She was, she was, and she spilled in a stream.

Fallow Ophelia waited, flecked with spring,
Glittering to embrace that prince.
He might salve her mouth, the taut bee sting
Where honey bled. Why did he mince?
He would weave her tapestries of ardor.
She wanted a plain bed founded harder.

The old stream holds forever its cold load,
Lopsided lily sprout of grief.
Never deflowered by the colder toad
Whose soggy thighs clamp to her leaf.
Felon, Ophelia! ruined water buoys
Your green inane careening counterpoise.

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