The King Is Mad

Philip Kane 

The King Is Mad

The king is mad.
The queen bears his children
like a malady.
It would be a simple solution,

were she to eat them before
they grow into their own madness.
She does not. She lets them
scamper about, small birds

that twitter and fret
in every corner of the palace.
The king is growing a beard
to cover his own curse,

it trails behind him
like a grey rag.
He is losing shape
in his own emptiness.

Yet, in this contagion
he is also grown more still,
rising from his beard and robes
like a statue of himself

raised to himself.
There is something to be said
for such a quiet madness.
Perhaps we envy him.

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