Poem | The Madness of King Charles

Froissart
(Damien Tupinier/Unsplash)

When you get to thinking that you’re glass,
And the leper tells you you’re betrayed,
Know there’s good air on the river Oise
And beds for you and both your kids.

The wife who’s managed this far seems
All the warmer and brings no mail. One hour
It rains. You take the green way down to daydream
And hike up your cartoon-tartan sweater.

When the sun blazes down, after rain,
The honeybees don’t buzz, but, rather, ring.
You’ll have them tamed
In a far country when no one knows you’re king

Where horses fatten—crab apples and corn—
And phones light up to name your favorite song.
The flatscreens should have known but never learned.
They wall you in this fortress of your wrong.

A flag falls in the dusk, in air,
Whipped to tatters, extravagant and grim.
Your silent son is everywhere.
It’s he who shatters, that you loved him.

Published in the May 2022 issue: 
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Spencer Hupp is a poet and critic from Little Rock, Arkansas. His poems, essays, and reviews appear in the Sewanee Review, Raritan, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Literary Matters, the New Criterion, the Honest Ulsterman, Mantis, Cortland Review, and the Times Literary Supplement, among others. Hupp was most recently named a semifinalist in the 2021 92Y Discovery Contest. He currently serves as an MFA candidate and graduate instructor in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.

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