Ophelia’s Fare Thee Well by Tina Klimas

Ophelia’s Fare Thee Well

Love is not Love after all.
The powerful twist it how they like.
They will call my heart and my grief
madness
while Hamlet is plainly bi-polar
and Claudius—a murderous
narcissistic rapist.
They will wrongly say I am a silly girl
mooning for an important boy.
This will be easier for them.
I have no place in their court
of corruption, in this world
of shifting sand and illusive reality,
of killing behind a curtain
of fabrication and denial.
Where truth is malleable,
and words are bandied about
into endless threads and soliloquies
to phantom audiences.
I am no fighter.
I am flora, I am different.
And different scares them. I long
to be at peace with my family—
my father, my brother.
But that is dead now.
Let them call me crazy.
Let their court destroy itself
until they all lie in their own blood
on cold expensive marble.
I will be free
in the arms of the willow,
in the embrace of Mother Earth.
Washed clean in the river.

by Tina Klimas

Editor’s note: The short, emphatic lines of this poem give Ophelia a strong and remarkably sane voice, and this encourages the reader to view a Hamlet through a modern lens to great effect.