A poem a day in April from Rutgers English PhD students and friends.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Friday the Thirteenth

King Friday XIII, grooming his pale beard
in his foam castle, the turret only wide enough
for his body, a shaving basin, a Rolodex
of vocabulary cards, and self-respect.
Queen Sarah Saturday asleep, with menstrual cramps,
or half-asleep and watching Downton Abbey on the couch,
the episode where the Dowager Countess is played by Lady Elaine Fairchild
and where the whole thing is an opera about the Olympics.
Prince Tuesday, cloaked among his sleepless troops,
curing scrofula and speaking sweetly in a pipe
they all identify at last: "a little touch
of Tuesday in the night," Paul said on waking,
long ago, it could have been on Friday the thirteenth,
back from the neighborhood of make-believe
with everything to show for it: our bourgeois home
our castle, where we improvise each song
in character when everything is going wrong,
but only wrong a little, only the way correct as usual
isn't correct as always so you give in after all,
have your sulk but let everyone into the museum,
try to explain yourself with royal accuracy.

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