a poem by William P. Meyers
"That skull had a tongue in it
And could sing once."*
Oh, how it could sing!
It sang of the past
Of tragedies and comedies
It hit each soprano note perfectly.
It sang in Italian, in French, in German
Over and over it sang
The lines the composers had written.
That skull had a face on it
Held eyes merry as the new year
Dancing eyes promising paradise,
Lips sweet and savory and musky,
Flirting, enticing to the chase.
That face fronted for a person
Addicted to little adventures
Addicted to adoration
Disciplined operatic conformity
Practice, practice, and more practice
Of wild, self-scripted drama.
That skull sits safely
In a bejeweled box,
Hidden in a secret cabinet
With other precious keepsakes,
Of a wealthy and cultured
Former Prime Minister
And fan of the opera
Driven mad by jealousy.
Or perhaps he was a wee bit mad
Before he ever heard
That tongue that could sing once.
*Hamlet, Act V Sc. 1, lines 83-84
Copyright 2015 by William P. Meyers, all rights reserved