Prairie Poetry   
  I Won’t Let the Biscuits Burn

Ophelia should have been raised in Texas
Things would have turned out differently
O sure, she might have died alone in her old age but she’d have been fine
and, of course, Hamlet would have been a king or whatever

See, if she’d been raised in Texas
then she’d have the bones of the earth in her spine
the prairie storms in her eyes
She’d never have given up on her life, wafted away on lazy currents
leaving Hamlet behind, paralyzed by indecision
She’d no more have left him alone than she’d have let the biscuits burn

She knew that man could have used someone who loved him enough
to watch his back while he made up his own mind
She’d have known to stand still as he worked through his decisions
She’d simply have listened
lying with him in the dark after they wrestled desire into exhaustion
He had to do the work and face the spirits on the parapet alone

He’d have worked it out
Murmuring against her hair in the dawn and darkness
And if his resolution had sent him far away from her
she’d have cut her hair short beneath the nun’s veil
Without his fingers to caress it, her hair would have been caught in the winds
Texas women are practical

  Lynn Westbrook
  Copyright © 2005 Lynn Westbrook
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