The silences we harbor in our hearts —
the things we could not say,
will never say —
wake up at night to play their sundry parts
rewriting history as a five-act play.
You listen to them speak their practised lines
of anger, love, or alcoholic whines,
with here and there a comic for relief
as if hilarity could mediate grief.
There goes Queen Leer, pretending to be chaste;
here comes O’Kneelya mourning her lost love;
then up pops Foolstuff in indecent haste
laughing and groveling his loyalty to prove.
Their costumes are unsuitable, catch-as-catch-can:
MacBuff rants on in doublet, wig, and thong;
Omelet’s a brigand in kilts and sporran;
Cardealya prances, clad like Susie Wong.
Why then, when you’re awake, are you in tears?
What wretched interference scrambles thought?
Why do your words leap backward from your ears?
Why do you think you can’t do as you’re taught?