June 25, 2009

Jocasta, Twice Queen of Thebes (1/16/2007)

History forgets.
She must have known,
the new face she looked upon
should have reminded her
of the young king she once fell
in love with. The new beau had
the same flat ears, the same steel
grey eyes, & the same cupid bow
of a mouth. She allowed him to take
her on the bed she shared with Laïus,
& he sat on the throne as king.

Yet history forgets.
She knew what the oracle said,
& how she should have acted. Instead,
sympathy did her in. The child
was not murdered in his crib,
as Richard Gloucester would know
to do in two thousand years. Perhaps
the motherly instinct prevailed, or perhaps
the north wind blowing off the Mediterranean,
calmed her soul but this sympathy
brought the kingdom to heel.

But history forgives.
The young king’s blindness
is tragedy, played out in the proscenium,
repeatedly meeting his destiny. Perhaps
a tear is shed against the cruel workings of fate,
but more so the story has been played so that we
remember to condemn the young king,
and forget the mother. History’s forgiveness
is easy to see. What widow could deny
the virile young man,
even if he is her son?